Letters to the Editor

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TACOMA: Those butts last just about forever

Letter by Mary E. Miville, Tacoma on Sep. 24, 2012 at 3:21 pm with 9 Comments »
September 25, 2012 9:59 am

I recently spent a few hours with over a dozen other members of our Midland community cleaning up our stretch of the road along Portland Avenue. We accumulated more than 34 bags of trash, and it could have been more had we picked up every single cigarette butt that was along the road.

There may well be a misconception among some smokers – indeed, I know there is – that cigarette butts decompose. Not so. While they may not last as long as hot dogs in the landfill, they certainly have longevity when tossed out a window or discarded carelessly while standing or walking.

In fact, some people actually believe butts decompose if each one is carefully “field-stripped” – filter separated from the butt and rolled between one’s fingers.

I simply would request that smokers think twice or even thrice before tossing their butts around. It may require more effort to find an appropriate destination, but they don’t disappear once they’re flicked out the window or straight on the ground.


Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. itwasntmethistime says:

    My mother did not think cigarette butts were litter and no amount of pleading would change her mind. I’m hoping it’s an older-generation belief that will die out with them.

  2. tombat35 says:

    With all those butts out there, how many were out when they were pitched from a car? With the fire danger that is scary!

  3. Pecksbadboy says:

    The City Of Tacoma just just a tour of South Tacoma Way because the business’s there put up disposal receptacles for people to put their butts in.

    There is NO enforcement for the 25′ rule and now we are being complained about for providing a place to put out the cigarettes that the City of Tacoma gave us permits to install.

    What do you really want?

  4. Harry_Anslinger says:

    Carleone, so you want a private citizen to not just take time to clean up the side of the road after others, but act as the police and be responsible for removing the dopers and criminals in her community for you to ‘pay attention’ to her letter? Your response is so abusrd and asinine it will be hard to top!

  5. Frankenchrist says:

    From the title this letter should be about old Republicans.

  6. Pawnbroker1 says:

    Smokers are stupid. If they didn’t start out stupid, they wound up there by inhaling dangerous chemicals and gases. If they don’t care about them selves, why would they care about where their cigarette butts land? Oh sorry, did I type that outloud?

  7. SandHills says:

    Ever walked the trails at Paradise…you would be very surprised to see how many cigarette butts litter the trails there as well.

    Smokers complain about how they treated…well they have to share in the common blame for where all these butts come from, and it isn’t from non-smokers….

  8. itwasntmethistime says:

    I can’t figure out why they are legal, except it’s one of the only ways to get tax revenue from the lower-income crowd. They provide no benefit whatsoever — they don’t taste or smell good like junk food, and they don’t give you a fun buzz like beer. They only relax people who are already addicted, and that just gets them back to normal, not really relaxed. The only draw I can think of is that they make teenagers feel like grown-ups. So why should the rest of us have to tolerate the smell and litter?

  9. buddyandelliott says:

    All those burned-out spots you see along the freeway and different roads? Smokers tossing butts, it wasn’t rats with matches.

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