Keep America Beautiful of Nash and Edgecombe Counties recently received a $6,000 Cigarette Litter Prevention Program Grant awarded by the Keep America Beautiful national office.
The purpose of the grant is to reduce litter caused by cigarette butts and will be applied to City Lake in Rocky Mount; Riverfront Park in Tarboro; and Stoney Creek Park in Nashville.
As a part of the grant, these parks have received 10 bait tanks, or ash receptacles, with educational signs about littering.
The installed bait tanks, designed with recycled surf board fins on top of a stainless steel container and featured gills on the sides, are reminiscent of sharks.
However, bait tanks are commonly used to attract attention by using clever verbiage and other information, encouraging individuals to “feed” the bait tanks with cigarette butts. Bait tanks hold thousands of cigarette butts at one time.
The Cigarette Litter Prevention Grant also will include the dissemination of 1,800 pocket ashtrays.
“Cigarette litter prevention is extremely important,” said Cornelia McGee-Anthony, Keep America Beautiful coordinator. “Most people don’t realize that cigarette butts are the most littered item in the U.S. While we often see cigarette butts on the roadways, they also end up in our storm drains and ultimately in our streams and rivers.
“This grant will allow us to prevent this type of littering and to educate people who otherwise would not understand its importance.”
According to KAB, cigarette butt liter also is an economical issue. The organization said the presence of litter in a community decreases property values by a little more than 7 percent, and tobacco litter represents nearly 32 percent of all litter in outdoor recreation areas.
It also contributes to lost tourism and eventually revenue.
Ash receptacles and bait tanks are currently installed in City Lake, Riverfront Park and Stoney Creek Park.
McGee-Anthony encourages you to tell your friends and family to use these items and share the importance of cigarette litter prevention.
For more information on cigarette litter prevention, visit www.preventcigarettelitter.org.
For more information on the city’s recent grant and how you can be of assistance in our community, call McGee-Anthony at 252-467-4960.