Local residents have been doing their part to keep butts off the streets – cigarette butts, anyways.
In 2018 the City of Victoria installed 50 cigarette butt canisters around the city in an effort to keep the streets and storm drains cleaner, and locals have been following suit. So far, more than 100,000 cigarette butts, weighing in at over 100 kg, have been collected.
The cylindrical canisters hang off of poles and posts in high-traffic areas, with a clearly-marked cigarette emblem on the side. Some of the canisters, said Rory Tooke, manager of sustainability, need to be changed daily, while others only need to be changed weekly.
“Public feedback has been very positive, and we receive many requests to install more canisters,” Tooke said in an emailed statement. “We expect collection to increase as more smokers become aware, and as the City continues to expand the number of canisters.”
The collected butts are then shipped over to the Greater Toronto area for processing. TerraCycle specializes in processing difficult-to-recycle materials, and turns the cigarette butts into plastic pellets used to create a wide range of new products.