This weekend’s Butt Blitz in Vernon resulted in thousands upon thousands of discarded cigarette butts being collected.
Organizer Jack Elliman says 19 thousand 306 butts were collected, a majority from a butt bin set up outside the Bulldog at Silver Star.
The numbers are still being tallied from the butts found around town, but will be around 7500.
About 17 volunteers helped scour the city looking for the, sometimes, not so elusive butts.
“You’d be surprised the amount of butts that are hiding in the material on the side of the roads and the storm drain. It’s amazing how many cigarette butts are just hanging out right where we all park our cars.”
Elliman says it doesn’t help when new cars don’t come equipped with ashtrays.
He is hoping to find a business in Vernon to set up a butt bin and hopes to get the city involved.
“We haven’t been approved by the City of Vernon yet. We did make a presentation and we will be making a new presentation to the new city council.”
Elliman says a bin will be going up in Lumby where the village has accepted his Pocket Ashtrays to hand out to people to use.
All of the butts will be sent to TerraCycle in Toronto where the leftover tobacco and paper materials are composted.
“And then acetate cellulose plastic is broken down and melted and then turned into a pellet form that can be turned into multiple different hard plastic materials such as industrial shipping pallets and park benches.”
Elliman says there’s a big misconception that cigarette butts are acceptable litter.
He thinks one reason for that is movies which show people flicking their butts everywhere, which he says isn’t cool – cigarette butts are toxic waste.
The Blitz was part of a nationwide campaign.
The national tally so far has 186 thousand 378 butts collected.