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    HomeNewsWest Hollywood Begins Installation of Cigarette Butt Collection Bins in Rainbow District

    West Hollywood Begins Installation of Cigarette Butt Collection Bins in Rainbow District

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    The City of West Hollywood has begun the installation of cigarette butt collection bins in designated areas throughout the city. There are currently six collection bins in the Rainbow district with five on Santa Monica Boulevard and one on Robertson Boulevard, in front of the Abbey Food and Bar.

    On June 7, 2021, an item initiated by Mayor Pro Tem John Erickson and council member Lauren Meister directed staff to develop ways to address cigarette butt pollution in the City, such as installing cigarette butt collection bin containers, developing a public education campaign about cigarette butt pollution and the environmental impacts of littering in general.

    The directive was in response and following the adoption of the smoke-free multifamily housing ordinance that was approved on April 19, 2021. As a result of the new ordinance, more people will most likely smoke outside of their homes or away from a proper trash disposal. To address the current issues of cigarette butt litter, staff proposed to provide educational and promotional resources to include reusable pocket ashtrays emphasizing the importance of properly disposing of cigarette butts and smoking cessation resources.

    Staff did not recommending the installation of cigarette disposal containers in residential areas because parkways in these areas are much smaller in width and may become gathering spaces for smokers which can impact pedestrians and residents in adjacent properties.

    The motion passed on November 1, 2021. The City is in the process of installing 42 cigarette butt disposal containers at specified locations throughout the City based on recommendations from the Facilities and Field Services Division. With supply chain challenges, the installation of cigarette butt disposal containers experienced some delays, but installations began in late 2022.

    Cigarette Butt Collection Bins in the Rainbow District – WEHO TIMES

    A public education campaign focused on cigarette butt pollution and the environmental impacts of littering in general will be developed in coordination with the Communications Department. The program will include digital graphics in outdoor advertising public service announcement touchpoints and promotional items. The anticipated cost of the campaign is $8,500. This cost includes $5,000 for the educational campaign and $3,500 for the promotional reusable pocket ashtrays.

    The cost of purchasing and installing 42 disposable containers is estimated at $295 per unit for a one-time cost of $12,390. Providing ongoing maintenance for the disposal containers is estimated at $730 per month, for servicing twice a week for an annual total of $8,760. Athens Services, who already provides services to existing dog waste stations, will also maintain the cigarette butt disposable containers.

    So far, the response has been mixed. Some community members think it’s a great idea, and very European, which will hopefully keep the streets clean of cigarette butts.

    Others say they don’t use it because they’re not used to it and simply forget they exist.

    Some criticized the bins for having a red arrow pointing down to ground when it should be pointing up towards the point of entry where the filters are disposed.

    In similar attempts to clear up sidewalks of cigarette butts in France, cities like Nice, Nantes, Paris, Laval and Dijon have adopted similar bins, only they make a game out of it with poll ashtrays in which smokers vote on various issues by putting their filters on one end, or another with each end reflecting their answer to a question.

    The concept known as Cigarette Butt Ballot Bins are also popular in parts of the U.S. as a way to reduce litter and educate the public. Places like Fayetteville Arkansas (pictured below) have had the ballot bins for several years and are effective in reducing pollution.

    Cigarette Butt Collection Ballot Bins – Fayetteville Arkansas – Photo by Scott Schmitt

    The city West Hollywood is currently in the process of developing messaging for digital transit shelter education and more bins will be installed soon.

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    Joey Parsons
    Joey Parsons
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    1 year ago

    Ugly ugly clutter. And the arrow points to the ground, not to the opening in the box.

    Randy
    Randy
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    1 year ago

    Wonderful idea.

    Steve Rogers
    Steve Rogers
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    1 year ago

    Good to know

    Rob William
    Rob William
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    1 year ago

    Great article

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