Long Beach Launches Campaign to Reduce Cigarette Litter in Commercial Corridors

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The City of Long Beach has launched the Can Your Butts campaign at Gallagher’s Pub and Grill, located at 2751 East Broadway. The campaign promotes a clean, safe, and litter-free community by offering education and assistance to Long Beach restaurants, bars and other businesses to reduce cigarette litter in commercial corridors.

“Cigarette litter has a negative impact on Long Beach businesses, tourism, and ecosystem,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “By educating businesses and providing resources to dispose of cigarette butts we are cutting down on litter and also improving the quality of life for our City’s residents.”

Participating businesses can receive free resources such as posters, pocket ashtrays, and a cigarette waste receptacle for the front of their establishment. The first phase of this campaign identifies 33 businesses on Broadway between Alamitos Avenue and Redondo Avenue eligible to participate. The campaign will expand to other business districts over the next several months. For more information, please visit litterfreelb.org.

“I am proud that we’re launching the Can Your Butts campaign, and I know this small change will have a positive, lasting impact on the surrounding area,” said Councilmember Jeannine Pearce. “I encourage businesses to take advantage of the resources that the Can Your Butts campaign offers.”

Cigarette butts and other tobacco products make up over a third of all litter found on U.S. roadways, public spaces, beaches and waterways. Cigarette butts cause environmental and public safety problems as they are not biodegradable. They leach toxic chemicals into the environment and are especially poisonous to children, pets, and wildlife if ingested. Cleaning up cigarette litter costs millions of dollars every year.

“Cigarette butts are the most common item found during our regular cleanup events that take place all around Long Beach,” said Diko Melkonian, Public Works Environmental Services Bureau Manager. “By educating and partnering with Long Beach businesses we will cut down on cigarette litter.”

Long Beach City Code requires businesses that sell tobacco products, serve alcohol, or allow smoking to provide and empty a tobacco waste receptacle.

The following tips can help Long Beach businesses prevent cigarette litter:

• Provide and maintain cigarette receptacles to prevent littering. For every added receptacle, the littering rate decreases by 9%.
• Provide receptacles in employee smoking areas.
• Go green! Consider recycling cigarette waste. Terracycle.com offers a free program for businesses to ship cigarette waste that is recycled into products like plastic pallets. Even the tobacco and ash are recycled via composting.

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