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FBA tackles another challenge – recycling 'non-recyclables'


Last updated 1/8/2017 at Noon

Fallbrook Beautification Alliance volunteer Jean Dooley tests new cigarette recycle unit along Pico Promenade.

FALLBROOK – The Fallbrook Beautification Alliance (FBA) introduces cigarette butt recycling to Fallbrook with the installation of its first TerraCycle cigarette receptacle. The test unit has been installed near a bench along the beautiful Pico Promenade, where discarded cigarette butts were littering the path and potentially washing into the watershed.

Every year, billions of cigarette butts end up in dumpsters and landfills, or get tossed as litter on shorelines, parks, and sidewalks across the U.S. Here in Fallbrook, the FBA decided to do something about it.

The unit, installed in downtown Fallbrook on the four-block path paralleling Pico between Fallbrook and Elder Streets, “is a rectangular 3"x3"x19" receptacle which will hold 700 cigarette butts when full. It is made of fire-safe aluminum, and 100 percent rust resistant. It is lockable and has been steel-banded onto a pole, according to Jean Dooley, FBA volunteer and steward of the Pico Promenade.

Users may place their extinguished cigarettes, cigarette filters, loose tobacco pouches, outer plastic packaging and inner foil packaging, rolling paper and ash in the receptacle.

A volunteer representative from FBA will monitor the receptacle and when filled, empty the unit, sending the discarded materials to TerraCycle. Once received, the cigarettes and packaging are separated by composition and melted into hard plastic that can be remolded to make new recycled industrial products, such as plastic pallets. The ash and tobacco are separated out and composted in a specialized process.

The recycling is accomplished by TerraCycle, located in Trenton, N.J.

“I simply log in to our account, click the 'ship us your waste' button, click on 'Print my shipping label now,' and affix the label to a shipping box or envelope and send it through UPS completely for free," said Dooley. "It will be an interesting experiment, don't you think?”

The FBA certainly hopes so, and if smokers utilize the receptacles, anticipates installing others in needed spots around Fallbrook.

For more information about this program or other FBA initiatives to help clean and beautify Fallbrook, go to and get involved.


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