The Hold On To Your Butt outreach team has been very busy this year! With an initial goal of installing 20 cigarette canisters around Seattle in 2015, the team has surpassed expectations and recently handed out their 27th can! The program encompasses education and outreach with the public with the ultimate goal of preventing cigarette butt litter from reaching local beaches, parks, and waterways. To achieve this goal, volunteers have been out and about the city to encourage installation of functional cigarette canisters.
A few reasons people prefer the Surfrider canisters to cheaper ones are that they are built especially to address litter concerns- like having holes small enough keep other trash items out of the canisters- that is a frequent problem with ashtrays and alternative cigarette disposal options. Over the summer, Seattle Parks and Recreation installed six additional canisters along the Alki Beach boardwalk. Just up the hill, the West Seattle Junction Association has installed a dozen canisters near areas of heavy foot traffic and busy intersections.
Local restaurateur Kyle Yoshimura, recently installed a canister outside his Belltown hotspot, Ohana, in an effort to combat cigarette litter along the bustling nightlife strip of First Avenue. Yoshimura and other bar owners usually end up paying employees to sweep up the sidewalks in front of their businesses, mainly due to littered cigarette butts. The canister provides a quick and easy alternative, helping to both keep the storefront clean and attractive, and lowering their labor costs. Keeping the butts off of streets and sidewalks prevents them from being washed into storm drains, which empty into the Puget Sound. Yoshimura was so taken with the idea that he purchased and installed an additional canister at his new restaurant ‘Ohana Eastside, in Issaquah. Congratulations to you, Mr. Yoshimura, you are doing excellent work to keep our waters clean!
Other local businesses are learning about the Hold On To Your Butt program and following Yoshimura’s lead.Several other juggernauts of the Seattle nightlife scene have also expressed interest in the receptacles. Queen Anne mainstays Toulouse Petit, and Pesos Kitchen and Lounge have also recently purchased canisters for their establishments and we’d like to offer up a big THANK YOU to Toulouse and Pesos for taking action! Go check out their new canisters and send us a photo on Twitter: @SEAsurfrider. For more information, check out our program page or reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by Kiley Sullivan and edited by Barbara Clabots