Don’t Throw Your Cigarettes in the Harbor, Baltimore

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Over the past six months, the Waterfront Partnership’s new recycling initiative has saved 55,000 cigarette butts from falling into the Inner Harbor. That’s great–but just imagine how many they didn’t catch.

Those thousands of cigarette butts were collected in 15 new receptacles that the WP placed in strategic locations–that is, outside restaurants and bars and other spots where smokers like to congregate–around Harbor East, according to the Baltimore Sun. Sure, a discreet little cigarette bin is not as dramatic or fun as Mr. Trash Wheel, but it’s a start. The group is hoping to double the number of cigarette urns in waterfront neighborhoods in the near future.

Even better, the cigarette butts collected in the receptacles will actually find a new life–because, believe it or not, you actually can recycle used cigarette butts. But why stop there? Other cities have come up with creative ways to encourage smokers to dispose of their trash responsibly.

Keeping cigarettes out of the water isn’t just important because a trash-strewn harbor is gross; the butts are actually quite toxic to marine life. One study found that the chemicals in just one cigarette butt were enough to kill half the fish in a one-liter container of water. Dispose of your trash properly, Baltimore.

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