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Cigarette Litter Prevention Program

Did you know that cigarette butts are the most littered item in the United States and across the globe? With your help they don't have to be! Join us as we kick-start the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program in the downtown Gainesville area. Local businesses, city officials and perhaps your next-door neighbors will all play crucial roles in this program, and so can you. The success of the CLPP will depend on the people of Gainesville and the new patterns of behavior they will need to adopt in order to change this pressing issue.

a bag full of burnt cigarette buts

Our initial efforts began with a cigarette litter scan on six streets in downtown Gainesville. In two afternoons, we were able to collect nearly 700 littered cigarette butts in the proximity of those streets. The behavior of littering cigarette butts and cigar tips is an issue that needs immediate attention. One littered cigarette butt will turn into one pack of littered cigarette butts, which will turn into one unsightly issue. It's a classic example of the slippery slope argument. With this program, we want to change the patterns of behavior of Gainesville smokers by educating the community on the issues of cigarette litter and why it matters. To ensure the goals of the CLPP can be met, smokers will be provided with cigarette butt containers to dispose of their used butts. The containers will be placed at strategic locations for smokers to use. Below is a photo of the collected littered cigarette butts in a portion of the downtown Gainesville area.

Terracycle Partnership

Keep Alachua County Beautiful (KACB) has partnered with TerraCycle to recycle cigarette waste. KACB wants to extend the partnership to include local businesses to prevent cigarette butts from poisoning our environment. Cigarettes are the #1 most-littered item. KACB is asking local store managers and residents to simply empty their ashtrays into a separate bucket provided by KACB. Two local businesses, High Dive and Dragonfly Sushi, have already agreed to participate in the program.

Terracycle  logo

For the companies that participate, a volunteer from KACB will come by, pick up the cigarette waste from the bucket, and send the waste to TerraCycle for recycling. For every pound of cigarette waste collected, TerraCycle will donate $1 to Keep America Beautiful, our parent organization.

KACB, with the help of local business partners, will collect every part of a cigarette or cigar except the cardboard box. Once TerraCycle receives cigarette waste, the cigarettes are separated by composition and melted into hard plastic that are remolded to make new recycled industrial products. The ash and tobacco are separated out and composted in a specialized process.  

This program is set to benefit the environment with only minimal effort from local businesses. The Cigarette Litter Prevention Program is one of many KACB programs.

Community support is needed for KACB to continue its fight to preserve our community's environmental legacy. For more information about this program, or to provide input, please contact KACB at (352) 371-9444 or

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