Newly installed ash can in downtown Ventura.

If you’ve visited downtown Ventura recently you may have noticed the newly installed cigarette butt ash cans.  These ash cans were installed in December by the City of Ventura in partnership with Surfrider Ventura County Chapter’s newly formed Hold On To Your Butt (HOTYB) campaign.

Lisa Munoz and J Vasquez emptying ash can. Photo:  Lizzy Shoup

A critical component of the HOTYB campaign is working in partnership with our city and local business owners to ensure that once the ash cans are installed they are emptied on a regular basis and that the cigarette butts are stored until they can be sent to Terracycle to be recycled into items like pallets and park benches.  Recycling is a critical component of our program because not only do we want to keep these toxic, non-biodegradable cigarette butts out of our ocean and waterways but we also want to keep them out of our landfill.  We are super stoked and appreciative to Downtown Ventura Partners for agreeing to collaborate with us on emptying the ash cans located in the downtown area, in addition to all the other awesome things they are doing.

Downtown Ventura Partners’ Lisa Munoz, Vince Velasquez, and J Vasquez  Photo:  Lizzy Shoup

Today we met up with members of the Downtown Ventura Partners’ team Lisa Munoz, Vince Velasquez, and J Vasquez for their first emptying of the ash cans since their installation in December.  The emptying went smooth and we observed that almost every ash can (total of 5) was nearly full indicating the ash cans are getting a lot of use!   We estimate nearly 2500 cigarette butts were collected from the newly installed ash cans and a couple of Big Belly’s that have had stickers added to them to increase visibility of the cigarette butt disposal option.

A huge thanks to Downtown Ventura Partners for their partnership in this effort to raise awareness about the environmental impact of cigarette butt litter on our oceans, waves and beaches, and to help eliminate cigarette butt litter in Ventura and beyond.  If you’d like to sponsor an ash can at your business or in your community click here to learn how!