Butt littering targeted

Lismore City Council will join 250 other councils in a National Day of Action targeting cigarette butt litter on Tuesday, March 27 with fines from $60 to $200 for anyone seen dropping a butt.

Australians litter around seven billion butts each year, and the Keep Australia Beautiful National Litter Index shows that cigarette butts make up 48 per cent of litter in New South Wales.

Ballina Shire Council is also joining the national crack-down, and warned smokers they will be fined $200 if caught dropping a cigarette butt in public areas.

Ballina acting general manager, Paul Hickey, said most littered butts find their way into our stormwater systems and are then flushed into our rivers and oceans.

Toxic chemicals including cadmium, lead, arsenic, formaldehyde, mercury benzene and hydrogen cyanide leach into water and harm our marine life, he said.

Lismore City Council first installed butt bins around the central business district seven years ago and there are now at least two on every main street.

Councils Catchment Management Officer, Vanessa Tallon, said on any one day council rangers might witness as many as one hundred acts of cigarette butts being littered on Lismores streets.

With the installation of bins, education and the NSW governments Dont be a Tosser campaign, you would think most smokers have got the message that dropping a cigarette butt is littering, she said.

However the problem continues and thats why Lismore City Council has agreed to participate in this National Day of Action.

Between 11-1pm on Tuesday, March 27, council staff will set up a stall outside its Magellan Street Office to give out binyabutts to smokers and butt bins to businesses to use outside their work premises.

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