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Thousands of cigarette butts recycled in Florida through new program

Posted at 12:32 PM, Dec 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-13 12:32:59-05

The city of Delray Beach is on a major mission to clean up cigarette butts.

In March, the city installed "cigarette butlers" along Atlantic Avenue from Swinton Avenue to U.S. 1. The butlers are little boxes where smokers can drop the end of their cigarettes and cigars.

"Those who are wanting to use it know what to look for," said Amanda Skeberis, the city’s Clean and Safe Administrator.

Skeberis said Delray Beach made the butlers easy to find, but tried to make them not noticeable for those who don’t know what they are. The butlers serve a purpose, and the used butts are passed on to be recycled.

Skeberis said the city has collected 23,000 butts since the program started.

"The paper in the tobacco, they break down, but then the filter has a lot of plastic fiber and that is the part they meltdown to create plastic," Skeberis said.

The butts get mailed to Terracycle at no cost to the city. Skaberis said Delray Beach is looking to add more butlers next year.