Cobourg Residents Invited to Join the Cobourg Community Cigarette Butt Clean-Up

In Community

The Town of Cobourg Environmental Services department invites residents to help protect our environment through participation in a Cobourg Community Cigarette Butt Clean-Up this Saturday, November 5, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Participants are asked to start at the Marina Administration Office (103 Third Street) to pick up collection supplies including, gloves, buckets, and pickers. If participants have garbage pickers of their own that they would like to use, they are encouraged to do so. Participants will be provided with a map of areas to cover within downtown and the waterfront. When done
collecting, participants will bring materials back to the Cobourg Harbour Parking Lot at 103 Third Street where a waste bin will be located.

All materials collected will be recycled through TerraCycle UNSMOKE cigarette recycling program. The TerraCycle program recycles these otherwise unrecyclable products into usable items. Due to the nature of the material collected, this clean-up event is recommended for ages 19+.

The Town of Cobourg hopes to partner with A Greener Future, on future community cleanups.

Through their efforts, this group and their community volunteers have helped to collect over four million pieces of litter. This initial community cleanup hosted by the Town of Cobourg is
scheduled for November 5th in hopes to collect as many cigarette butts as possible before winter, when the runoff of melted snow creates additional opportunities for dangerous
chemicals to enter our water systems.

About Cigarette Litter

Did you know that cigarette butts are the most-littered item in the world? About two-thirds of the six trillion cigarettes smoked each year end up in the environment.

Cigarette butts contain a plastic filter and the remnants of a smoked cigarette. The white filters that look like white cotton are cellulose acetate which breaks into microplastic fibres. Cellulose
acetate is difficult to degrade in the environment. Depending on where the cigarette butt is discarded, they take around 18 months to 10 years to break down, but they will not decompose naturally.

When these butts end up in water, they release nicotine, arsenic, tar, and even heavy metals.

One littered cigarette butt can contaminate 1,000 litres of water!

Unfortunately, due to their size, cigarette butts are often missed during public cleanup events and municipal staff efforts; many end up buried in sand, leaves, or wedged in cracks in the pavement.


A Greener Future

The Town of Cobourg would like to recognize the hard work of community volunteers who are committed to protecting our natural environment from harmful contaminants. A Greener Future
is committed to providing opportunities that bring together a community of volunteers and inspire action to create a clean, healthy environment that can be sustained for generations.

Since 2014, this team has been implementing initiatives to help reduce the impact of litter on the environment, economy and people. The Town of Cobourg hopes to partner with the group
in 2023 to host more community cleanup opportunities.

If you’re interested to learn about A Greener Future, contact: Rochelle Byrne at “A Greener Future.”

The Town of Cobourg thanks its residents for their help in cleaning up our beautiful community.

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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