Cigarette butts litter Nashville's streets - WSMV Channel 4

Cigarette butts litter Nashville's streets

Posted: Updated: April 21, 2012 10:15 PM CDT
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

You see them every day, some of you may even buy them. But, what you might not know: they're the number one littered item in the country. We're talking about cigarettes. And, according to one anti-smoking group, that's a major environmental concern.  On Earth Day, they want to get the word out about the dangers of tossing those butts out.

According to the non-profit group, Legacy for Health, more than 9 billion cigarettes were sold here in Tennessee and they say too many of those butts are ending up on our roads and in our waterways.

You may remember back in September 2009, Hillsboro Village started a "No Butts" campaign. Within a month, metro leaders praised the initiate saying the receptacles put in place decreased the number of cigarettes on the ground by 40 percent. Fast forward to today, you will still see those very ash trays still around. But, one book store employee we spoke with says he would like to see even more. And, he may just be on to something, because we found plenty of butts on the streets and sidewalks.

There's no question cigarette butts are costly to clean up and harmful to the environment. In fact, Legacy for Health says cigarette butts are not only the most littered item in the country, they're also incredibly toxic for our waterways and wildlife.

We called and emailed Metro Public Works, to find out if the"No Butts" campaign was still on going and as successful as they claimed it was back in 2009. But, we have not heard back from them yet. We'll let you know what they say.

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