Thunder Bay's EcoSuperior aims to recycle cigarette butts
EcoSuperior wants discarded cigarette butts in Thunder Bay recycled, instead of being put in the trash or on the ground.
The environmental organization has registered with a Toronto-area company to send collected butts to the company's facility for recycling.
TerraCycle turns the material in filters into items such as synthetic shipping pallets.
“We're just working on some logistics on how we're to set it up and how we get people to participate in it so that we actually get a volume of cigarette butts to recycle,” said Shannon Costigan, EcoSuperior's waste reduction and litter prevention co-ordinator.
"They contain a lot of harmful chemicals that eventually make their way into Lake Superior, so it's harmful to the environment and to wildlife."
Costigan said she hopes to launch the collection program in the new year, with help from businesses who sign up for another EcoSuperior program that provides subsidized outdoor ashtrays to local businesses.
Costigan added she hopes those businesses will send the butts from the ashtrays to EcoSuperior so it can, in turn, send them to TerraCycle.
“We're hoping that it's going to serve as a gateway.”
Aside from figuring out how to get people to participate in the collection-for-recycling program, Costigan said EcoSuperior is also trying to figure out storage options for the collected butts before they are shipped to TerraCycle.
She added Vancouver is already collecting butts and sending them to TerraCycle.