By Lyonel Doherty
Pocket ashtrays are coming to a park near you.
On Monday, Parks and Recreation manager Carol Sheridan addressed Town council about a unique proposal to offer smokers an incentive not to throw their cigarette butts on the ground. She noted this behaviour is “super gross.”
As a result of some brainstorming, Sheridan introduced the pocket ashtray, a small reusable pouch with a top flap (looks like a mini coin purse). It utilizes an air seal that suffocates cigarette butts and/or roaches and keeps the odour contained.
Sheridan said the proposal is an educational tool that complements the Town’s new Smoke-Free Bylaw. The idea is to have bylaw enforcement personnel hand them out to the public.
She noted the pocket ashtray is used in other communities as a way to reduce littering and prevent wildfires.
• Read more: Smoke Free Bylaw undergoes more scrutiny
“The (European) concept started in 2016 and the ashtrays are making their way across the country.”
She pointed that that cigarette butts can now be recycled in “butt bins” that Oliver Parks and Recreation hopes to locate in some of their facilities.
Sheridan said they are looking for support from the Town to pay half the cost of 1,000 pocket ashtrays, which would cost $1,000.
Councillor Dave Mattes enquired about funding from the regional district and/or grant funding.
But Corporate Officer Diane Vaykovich said there should be enough money in the Town’s bylaw enforcement budget to cover half the cost.
Councillor Aimee Grice said she loves the pocket ashtray idea. “It’s a really simple solution.”
She wondered if there are any advertising or marketing opportunities for businesses that may want to brand these ashtrays.
Sheridan said she hadn’t thought of that.
Council passed a motion to share the cost of the project.