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How many of your cigarette butt filters are here?

Keep it clean, no butts

It’s time to come clean in the Central City. This is the new message behind the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) annual #KeepItClean campaign, run by its Urban Management Department.

Urban Management is one of the four operational divisions of the CCID that delivers top-up services to those of the City of Cape Town.

The campaign launched on Tuesday 24 April with an activation in St George’s Mall, visually demonstrating what 240kg of cigarette butts looks like – one month of butts collected just from the 270 CCID-branded cigarette bins placed around the Central City. According to manager Richard Beesley the annual campaign is essential in creating public awareness.

“During last year’s campaign, we calculated that just one day’s worth of litter dumped illegally onto our streets in the CBD amounted to 2100kg and cost R26 000 to remove!

And of course, within that time, these figures have increased. If more people ‘came clean’ and were litter conscious, imagine how this money and the resources used to clean the mess could be utilised towards other pressing urban management challenges in the CBD for the benefit of everyone who falls within the CCID footprint.”

To drive home the message that everyone should take responsibility for correctly disposing of their own litter and not rely on others – the 2018 #KeepItClean campaign will show the public just how much effort it takes to keep the CBD clean. Explains Beesley: “We’re doing this because of the enormous volumes of cigarette butts that still end up on the ground through illegal dumping – far more than what our cleaners collect from our bins.

“We want people to imagine just how many more butts end up on pavements, in the streets and even being washed out to sea via our stormwater systems. And that’s just the cigarette butts. Never mind all the other illegal dumping of trash that takes place in the CBD every day – from the flicking of a soda can onto the ground to entire bags full of rubbish placed illegally on the streets instead of inside a municipal bin.”

Tasso Evangelinos, CEO of the CCID, adds: “We’ve worked out that one month’s worth of cigarette butts collected from our bins is equivalent to 240kg or four municipal bins and this amounts on its own to approximately three tonnes per annum. If our Urban Management team was able to collect so many cigarette butts in just one month, within only the areas in which we are able to place our own ciggie bins, can members of the public imagine the number of cigarette butts being illegally dumped every day?”

Another activation during this year’s campaign comes from the 2017 campaign, during which the CCID rolled out a highly popular (and very amusing) interactive “ciggie butt voting bin” that invited smokers to engage by voting with their butts on the answers to a variety of questions.

“The ciggie butt voting bin gave smokers, particularly the high volumes in the CBD that often congregate on pavements outside of our many call centres, a reason to dispose of their butts in a responsible way, and gave them a laugh at the same time,” says Evangelinos.

“Above all else it taught us that behavioural change can sometimes be best effected in an amusing and engaging manner.

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This article originally appeared at News24


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