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Melbourne City Council kicks littering smokers butts. New Zero Tolerance policy announced.

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Littering Fine by Mail?  You deserve it.Smokers who drop their cigarette butts face on-the-spot fines of up to $234 under a City of Melbourne crackdown this month. Cigarette butts are Australia’s number one cause of litter, accounting for 16 per cent of all rubbish.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said more than 10,500 cigarette butts were cleaned from the street every week day, and that butts were a blight on the city’s streetscape.

“We’re coming into our busiest events month of the year, March, when Melbourne truly is on show to the world – Moomba, the L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival and the Grand Prix to name just a few of our major events in March,” he said.

“No one likes a street or park area covered in cigarette butts. Our ‘Butt It and Bin It’ campaign encourages smokers to use the nearly 3,000 bins we provide for their use so that we can keep a Melbourne for us all to enjoy. 

Cigarette Butts in Drain
“Carelessly discarding cigarettes not only looks bad, it harms the environment. Discarded butts leach toxic chemicals into the soil and the waterways.”

Council is widening the reach of its latest quarterly ‘Butt It and Bin It’ operation, due to begin on Monday February 8. It will now extend beyond the city centre to Docklands, Kensington, Southbank, North Melbourne and Carlton.

The campaign will concentrate on certain areas, like Grattan Street outside the Royal Melbourne Hospital, where butt littering is a particular problem

The Lord Mayor pointed out that that the amount of smokers issued infringements had dropped from 11 per cent to 4 per cent since the campaign began in May 2009, and congratulated smokers for improving their ‘butt binning’ habits.

“Most Melburnians have made a conscientious effort about discarding their cigarette butts since we launched our ‘Butt It and Bin It’ campaign. Not only does this mean a vast improvement to our streetscape, but it also minimises the risk of bin fires,” the Lord Mayor said. 

City of Melbourne - ZERO tolerance for butt litterers“Our past campaigns have focused on education and voluntary compliance. Now is the time for zero tolerance. We have instructed our enforcement officers to issue infringement notices to the minority who are still doing the wrong thing.

“Our message really is very simple – please butt it, then bin it.”

City of Melbourne is a member of ALGA, The Australian Local Government Association which represents 670 Councils and Shires across Australia.

Over 500 Government Departments, Councils, Shires, Counties and National Parks now distribute No BuTTs Personal Ashtrays to assist smokers to "Butt it and Bin it".   More Govt Depts every day are also installing No BuTTs Eco-Pole Wall & Post Ashtrays to reduce cigarette butt litter.

  By No BuTTs with info from City of Melbourne & Clean Up Australia [4th February 2010]

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