Smoker Might Be Saving Their Butts for Cash in N.Y.
Lawmakers in New York are tossing around the idea of a
bottle-bill style law for a completely different product: cigarette butts.
Former New York City sanitation worker, Assemblyman
Michael DenDekker, D-Queens, has proposed a cigarette butt recycling program,
complete with at least a 1 cent-deposit for each cigarette butt.
DenDekker said after talking to various businesses and
recyclers, he believes there is a viable market for the cigarette butts.
The bill would require the Commissioner of Health to
establish the program, including the deposit. Also required would be the
establishment of a statewide redemption system, with at least one redemption
facility in each county.
The redemption centers could have either automated or
non-automated recycling equipment, according to the legislation.
The bill also outlines the recycling program also must
include a marketing campaign to educate the public on the harm cigarette butts
can have on the environment.
The cigarette butt recycling program would also extend to
cigars, according to the bill.
DenDekker said while there's an environmental issue at
hand, he said he is tackling the bill from a fiscal side, saying the program
could create jobs and save municipalities on tipping fees for the butts.
"There are a lot of people who want to have an adult
conversation about this topic, but unfortunately right now, there are so many
people who think it's so nutty that they balk at it," he said. "But
we'll see what we can do. This year, my goal, is to have some sort of public
hearing on the bill or on the concept."
Attention Readers: What are your thoughts on the recycling
cigarette butts initiative? Do you think this is a good incentive for smokers to
care about the environment or do you think this will lead people to
continue to smoke or pick up the smoking habit?