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FBA works to recycle cigarette butts around the village

FALLBROOK – Terracycle cigarette butt recycling units have been placed along the Pico Promenade by the FBA and at the entrance to the Fallbrook Library by Friends of Fallbrook Library to encourage a safe and responsible way to dispose of cigarette butts.

As most Fallbrook residents know, cigarette butts are often the cause of wildfires and routinely get into waterways and eventually the ocean. According to a National Geographic website, smokers around the world buy roughly 6.5 trillion cigarettes each year. That's 18 billion every day. While most of a cigarette's innards and paper wrapping disintegrate when smoked, not everything gets burned. Trillions of cigarette filters – also known as butts or ends – are left over, only an estimated third of which make it into the trash. Based on Fallbrook's recent cleanup efforts, the rest are often casually flung into the street or out a car window.

Cigarette filters are made of a plastic called cellulose acetate and covered in a paper liner. When tossed into the environment, the filter dumps the plastic, but also the nicotine, heavy metals and many other chemicals they've absorbed into the surrounding environment. 

When disposal units are not available, the FBA asks smokers to take responsibility to put out their cigarette by hand or foot, pick up the cold butt and dispose of it in a standard trash receptacle. Pocket ashtrays are also an option. Drivers should invest in a portable ashtray for their cars. Numerous styles are available, including those that fit in cup holders for convenient access.

Terracycle offers smokers an option to recycle their cigarettes and associated trash at no cost, through their cigarette Waste Recycling Program. They accept extinguished cigarettes, cigarette filters, loose tobacco pouches, outer plastic packaging, inner foil packaging, rolling paper and ash. More details on the program and how to sign up may be found at

Submitted by Fallbrook Beautification Alliance.


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