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Western NY group is kicking butt, one cigarette butt at a time – Spectrum News

Summary

HAMBURG, N.Y. — They’re called the “Butt Kickers,” but they have nothing to do with working out. Their mission is to rid the world of cigarette butt litter. There are 4 trillion cigarette butts consumed globally every year.

What You Need To Know
Hamburg Butt Kickers formed about 18 months ago
Once a week they clean the Village of Hamburg, primarily looking for cigarette butts, but also trash
The group is working with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to raise awareness of the h…….

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HAMBURG, N.Y. — They’re called the “Butt Kickers,” but they have nothing to do with working out. Their mission is to rid the world of cigarette butt litter. There are 4 trillion cigarette butts consumed globally every year.


What You Need To Know

  • Hamburg Butt Kickers formed about 18 months ago
  • Once a week they clean the Village of Hamburg, primarily looking for cigarette butts, but also trash
  • The group is working with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to raise awareness of the health and environmental impact of smoking

Let’s be honest, not many people are excited about finding a cigarette butt. But for the Hamburg Butt Kickers, finding a “live” one, or scraping one out of the crack in a sidewalk is a thrill.

“We have the world’s smallest billboard, we will do anything to educate people to the toxicity of cigarette butts,” Maureen O’Brien, chair of the Hamburg Butt Kickers said. “We are going to be rotating butt facts.”

The billboard sits at the entrance to Peace Park in the Village on Hamburg. It’s a hot spot for public parking and cigarette butt litter. It’s about starting a conversation and raising awareness.

The Butt Kickers, which is part of the group Imagine Hamburg, formed thanks to Dave Zalikowski. He’s a groundskeeper for the village.

“I only did it for myself, to make my job easier,” Zalikowski laughed.

It started with one container. So far, Zalikowski has made 10 for the village. 

“This one is our best producer, it’s in front of the bowling alley,” Zalikowski said. “We get about 300 cigarette butts in about 30 days.”

The group searches for cigarette butts once a week, they’re also spearheading an effort to get 20 ash receptacles for local businesses, and ash cups attached to village trash cans.

The Butt Kickers have caught the attention of Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Tobacco Free WNY. So, Spectrum News 1 went to Roswell to learn more from Dr. Andrew Hyland. He’s the chair of behavioral health at Roswell and an international tobacco control expert.

“There’s about a billion cigarette butts smoked in Western New York,” Hyland said.

That’s 1 billion annually. Dr. Hyland points out how we’ve all seen the cigarette butts improperly disposed of. But, have we ever thought about what the implication actually is?

“They end up essentially being mini chemical barrels that get put into the environment,” Hyland said.

Dr. Hyland explains the toxins and chemicals in cigarettes are drawn to the butt as a smoker inhales.

“You take a look at them and you see that brown pattern, that’s all the tar,” Hyland said.

But that’s not his only concern.

“The …….

Source: https://spectrumlocalnews.com/nys/buffalo/news/2021/11/18/hamburg-butt-kickers-cleaning-up-cigarette-waste-and-share-enviornmental-impact