The City of Atlanta is installing 50 cigarette and ash receptacles in the highly traveled sidewalks of downtown Atlanta. The installations are attributed to the Clean Streets Program, a part of the city’s zero-waste goal which allows smokers to safely and responsibly dispose of their cigarette buds.
The Clean Streets Program is a pilot program designed to be an experiment, which will be evaluated for effectiveness after 90 to 120 days.
Jewanna Gaither, deputy press secretary for mayor Kasim Reed, said “the Clean Streets Program will encourage enforcement of cigarette litter, raise awareness about cleanliness in public spaces, as well as distribute pocket or portable ashtrays to adult smokers.”
Smokers can find these new receptacles outside retail stores, restaurants, bars, hotels, office buildings, parking lots, and bus shelters.
Gaither said disposal behavior “tends to improve when disposal options are provided”.
Georgia State student Gregory Woodcox said the program is a step in the right direction for smokers in the city. Woodcox said that prior to the implementation of this program, he utilized trash cans as a disposable unit to store his finished cigarettes, but said he knows of people who would drop their cigarettes wherever they could.
Student Darby Henricks said she believes the new program will definitely help, but in order for it to accomplish it’s goal, she believes more people need to know about it.
“I think the disposable units is a good thing to try, but we need it here on campus as well, because Georgia State is supposed to be smoke-free but it’s not,” Henricks said. “You can find cigarette buds all around campus.”
Gaither said that the implementation of this program is a voluntary effort on the part of cigarette users and that the program is geared toward creating public awareness.
“With education and outreach, the city is hopeful that cigarette users will properly dispose of their cigarette waste,” Gaither said.
If successful, Gaither said, the city plans to reach out to other areas where smoking is deemed prevalent to determine how feasible it would be to expand the program.