Volunteers clean up cigarettes butts around Nashville - WKRN News 2

City officials, volunteers clean up cigarettes butts around Nashville

Posted: Updated: May 30, 2013 10:24 PM

As part of the national "Rethink Butts" campaign, some Metro parks got cleaned up on Friday.

Crews were at Centennial Park, the Church Street Park and the Walk of Fame Park on Demonbreun Street to clean up cigarette butts.

"I would say we've picked up between 300 and 400 cigarette butts since 8:00 this morning," said Rebecca Morris, the Tobacco Control Coordinator with the Metro Public Health Department.

The Metro Health Department said in a release that cigarette trash is comprised of a plastic called cellulose acetate that only biodegrades under ideal conditions.

"Once those drop onto the ground, they are actually leaching toxic chemicals into our waterways, affecting our wildlife as well as our water," Morris explained.

If the contamination goes unchecked, it can be very costly to local communities in terms of clean up and disposal.

"Eighty six percent of smokers believed that cigarette butts were litter, but then two-thirds of them continued to throw them on the sidewalks or toss them out of their cars," Morris explained.

Friday is also World No Tobacco Day.

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