Complaints about cigarette butts in the streets and on beaches in Port Douglas in Far North QLD led Tangaroa Blue and the Douglas Shire Council to host a litter source reduction plan workshop in December last year and now the community is invited to join in to implement the cigarette butt litter project in the region!
The first step was to identify where the cigarette butts were being littered, so Tangaroa Blue joined Council for an audit early in the morning, before the street sweepers came through the main street to see where the cigarette butt hotspots were – you can see the map with January’s audit here.
The next step is to engage the main street businesses in the project and look at cigarette butt infrastructure – from personal to the permanent cigarette butt bins.
At the moment we are asking community members to collect their mint tins and drop them off at one of eight drop-off places before the end of January. These tins will be re-branded as personal ashtrays and be given out to smokers.
Cigarette butt litter is the most common form of litter in the Bayside City Council particularly in shopping strips, and close to cafes and bars. The project objective was to reduce cigarette butt litter within the Black Rock cafe/bar and restaurant precinct.
The first step of this SRP was to run cigarette butt surveys along Bluff and Balcombe Roads to identify cigarette butt hotspots. One survey was conducted prior to the new smoking bans taking effect on 1 August 2017, and one several weeks following the ban. This helped identify butt litter hotspots and was used to assess if the new smoking laws had the desired effect.
The surveys found no significant difference in the total number of cigarette butts littered before and after the introduced laws. People were smoking in the same locations and were disposing of their butts in the same manner.
Following the survey, Bayside City Council along with SRP participants decided it was necessary to create signage to direct smokers to existing butt bins. Signs are being designed and will be stuck on the ground in current butt hotspot locations.
Following the signage installation, a third butt survey will assess if signs are having the desired effect on disposal behaviour.
This project was funded through Sustainability Victoria’s Litter Innovation Fund.
The Campbells Cove foreshore carpark is a litter hotpot within the Wyndham local government area, cigarette butts being the most common form of litter found. This litter item was the target of the Wyndham SRP workshop held in 2017. The aim was to reduce litter through public awareness via signage infrastructure.
Cigarette butt surveys were conducted to identify the hotpots on site, and Council installed signage that read “Too lovely to litter, Keep Wyndham Clean”. Follow up surveys, showed that rates of butt litter did not decrease, so more targeted signage was introduced that read “Please Bin Your Butts, Keep Wyndham Clean”. Follow up surveys are yet to determine the full effects of the new signs, but community members are now skilled in butt auditing and monitoring.
The SRP process created a strong network between community members and Wyndham City Council for future projects and initiatives.
Complaints about cigarette butts in the streets and on beaches in Port Douglas led Tangaroa Blue and the Douglas Shire Council to host a litter source reduction plan workshop in December 2017.
A plan was mapped out, with the first step to understand exactly where the cigarette butt litter hotspots were.
Once a month for three months Tangaroa Blue team members, Douglas Shire Council representatives and local volunteers assisted in a baseline data collection action.
Before the council street sweepers cleaned Macrossan Street, which is the main street in Port Douglas, a survey was conducted logging in Tangaroa Blue’s CyberTracker data logger all cigarette butts found along the footpath, gutter and garden beds. Infrastructure was also logged to show the relationship between seats, bins, bus stops, drains, tables, public phones, toilets and pedestrian crossings with the cigarette butt litter.
You can check out the map from January’s audit here