The City of New Orleans and the DDD have launched a new pilot program to collect and recycle cigarette butts, with the goal of keeping New Orleans streets cleaner. The New Orleans pilot program is an extension of TerraCycle’s Cigarette Waste Brigade – a nationwide, mail-in recycling program that is sponsored by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company. New Orleans is the first city in the United States to implement this program, which launched with the installation of 50 new cigarette-recycling receptacles on several blocks in Downtown. Cigarette butts are the world’s most pervasive form of litter. Keep America Beautiful estimates that 38% of all roadside litter in the U.S. is tobacco-related waste. An estimated 195 million pounds of cigarette butts are improperly discarded in the United States annually. Globally, an estimated 3.5 trillion cigarette butts are littered every year.
“The DDD is committed to keeping Downtown New Orleans one of the cleanest areas in the city and continuously looking for ways to improve the quality of life for our Downtown stakeholders,” said DDD President & CEO Kurt Weigle. “Addressing the cigarette butt litter problem is key to that effort. In a single day our Clean Team collected 6,781 cigarettes butts on the sidewalks of Downtown. This is why a few years ago we launched our Walk Your Butt to the Can campaign, as a prevention program designed to raise awareness to this problem; so, we are thrilled to build on that effort by partnering with the city and TerraCycle in this unique pilot program. We are especially pleased that the recycling fits in with our mission to promote a green Downtown.”