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2.9 C
Niagara-on-the-Lake
Monday, December 5, 2022
Volunteers come together for Butt Blitz community cleanup
Kyra Simone led this Saturday's Butt Blitz ran by Greener Future. Julia Sacco

The cold and wind didn’t scare off a small group of volunteers who scrounged around the Bass Pro Shops parking lot Saturday in search of cigarette butts to be recycled. 

In just 75 minutes of searching, the group collected 4,705 butts.

Kyra Simone, Niagara co-ordinator of A Greener Future, helped organize what was the kick-off for a community cigarette recycling program.

“Cigarettes are the last socially acceptable form of littering and we tend to forget that they are microplastics,” said Simone, who is also The Lake Report’s environmental columnist.

“It’s really important that we shift behaviour and that’s also why we’re here today, to get people to ask us what we’re doing and to start the conversation.”

Former Niagara College business student Nadia Zechinelli was happy to help out at her first Butt Blitz at Niagara-on-the-Lake’s outlet mall.

“I like sustainability and helping out the environment, so when the college posted about this event, I thought I’d come help out,” she said.

“I was wondering how many cigarette butts we would see but there are a lot.”

Ann Marie Simone, Kyra’s mother, also helped with the cleanup and urged others to pick up butts when they see them.

“Anybody can do this if they have a few minutes,” she said. “It’s very therapeutic.”

All cigarette butts collected will be sent to TerraCycle Canada for recycling, where the material will be sold to manufacturers and used for various outdoor and indoor building materials.