Butt Cleanup Coming to Downtown Frederick

The Frederick City Sustainability Committee has had its eye on butts, and they’re finally ready to do something about it with the help of the Downtown Frederick Partnership.

Cigarette butt recycling containers will be installed in 25 locations around the downtown area later this spring, with a grant from Keep America Beautiful.

Jenny Willoughy, sustainability manager for the city, says they should be installed sometime around the start of summer.  (photo- from the Green Neighbor Festival display) The Downtown Frederick Partnership was the grant recipient.

Phil LeBlanc, a sustainability committee member, has been advocating for the project since he was in Shepherdstown, WV and saw a similar project. (See photo, below).

To help prove its necessity, he spent a few hours a week for about seven weeks collecting cigarette butts from the sidewalks around downtown Frederick. He amassed an amazing collection of butts from his forays.

Sometimes, it took him longer because people stopped him to thank him for what he was doing, he said.

Phil LeBlanc, Frederick City Sustainability Committee Member

The collection will be shipped free of charge to Terracycle for their hard-to-recycle items program. The plastic portions are recycled and removed from the tobacco which is composted, he said. The Frederick County Solid Waste Division said it could not take them.

It’s the hope of the Sustainability Committee that the containers will draw more attention from smokers than the existing containers that some vendors of downtown eateries and lounges have put out on their own. Unfortunately, those containers don’t appear to be well used.