Council targets CBD smokers
Tuesday, August 25, 2009, 5:41 pm
Smokers in the CBD will be told to “butt it, then bin it” tomorrow as part of Butt Free Brisbane day.
The Brisbane City Council’s crackdown on cigarette butt littering is a prime focus of Keep Australia Beautiful Week, which runs from August 24 to 30.
Lord Mayor Campbell Newman said butt litter hotspots on Ann, Albert and Creek streets, Queen Street Mall and Roma Street and Central rail stations would be targeted.
“A clean city is a priority for me, which is why we are spending $800,000 this year on new litter prevention infrastructure, including 350 new butt bins bringing the total number to over 700,” Councillor Newman said.
Also as part of Butt Free Brisbane day, big red arrows will highlight bins at the rail stations and 20 educators wearing bright blue t-shirts will aproach smokers offering them pocket-size ashtrays.
Cigarette butts make up half the litter on city streets and cost the council a large part of the $10.3 million cleaning bill through extra street cleaning.
Previous council plans to cut cigarette butt littering in the CBD have included complete bans on smoking in some parts of the Queen Street Mall.
But the Lord Mayor has scrapped these plans for the mean time, saying it will only divert smokers elsewhere in the CBD.
“The practical reality of banning it outright is that the periphery of that block will have all these smokers standing around,” Cr Newman said.
City worker and smoker Michelle Neal agrees that plans to ban smoking in the Mall will not be effective.
“I don’t think banning smoking in certain areas will reduce the total amount of litter it will only relocate it, the Mall will still have to be swept,” she said.
Another city worker Naomi Williams thinks it is about time something was done about smoking in the Mall.
“I have moved from Sydney and when I walk through the Queen Street Mall I am still shocked by the huge amount of people smoking, only in Bangkok have I seen it worse,” she said.
“It worries me that people are still allowed to do this despite the amount of information out there about passive smoking, not to mention the damage that cigarrette waste can have on the enviorment if not disposed of properly.”
In Australia 7.2 billion cigarettes are discarded each year.
Do you think butt bins are effective or should smoking in the Mall be banned? Please leave your comment below.