Ozark Outdoors

National initiative to curb cigarette litter awards $2,500

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This billboard is right to the point. What it doesn't say is that discarded butts can kill birds and other wildlife.

This billboard is right to the point. What it doesn’t say is that discarded butts can kill birds and other wildlife.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – The Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) will take part in a national program to reduce the impact of cigarette butt litter, the Keep America Beautiful Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

image001A $2,500 grant has been awarded to OEM to facilitate this initiative. Grant funds will allow for the purchase of cigarette ash receptacles that will be strategically placed at transition points throughout the Greene County government buildings campus.

Tobacco products, including cigarette butts, are the most-littered item in America, representing nearly 38% of all items, according to “Litter in America”, the Keep America Beautiful landmark study of litter and littering behavior. This research also showed that individuals who would never litter items such as beverage cans or paper packaging may not consider tossing cigarette butts on the ground “littering.”

“This grant ties directly into OEM’s vision to expand the scope of its current recycling program outreach. This will not only help prevent cigarette litter at the Public Safety Center, but will include the Judicial County facility, the Justice Center, Administration Building, Historic Courthouse and Archives/Election Center,” said Shea Lane, Emergency Management Specialist, Logistics. “We take great pride in our Greene County facilities, and hope that the appearance of our property and grounds will be enhanced through our participation in the Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.”

All receptacles will be installed campus-wide by June 1, 2015, with a confirmed maintenance plan in place.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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