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Thou shalt not create cigarette litter
Keep Liberty Beautiful
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It is estimated that several trillion cigarette butts are littered worldwide every year. That's billions of cigarettes flicked, one at a time, on our sidewalks, roadways, beaches, nature trails, gardens and other public places every single day. In fact, cigarettes are the most littered item in America and the world. Cigarette filters are made of cellulose acetate, not cottom as many believe. They can take decades to degrade. Not only does cigarette litter ruin even the most picturesque settings, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment. Littered butts also cause numerous fires every year — some of which are fatal. So, cigarettes can be hazardous to your life in more ways than one.
We are currently working on ways to reduce cigarette litter in Liberty County. Our focus area for our campaign is downtown Hinesville. Recently, with the help of Scout Troop 420, we did a test scan of only two blocks of the downtown area and we picked up 990 butts. Now, I work in this area and I can tell you that the city maintenance folks are always cleaning around here, so those 990 butts accumulated in just a matter of a couple of days.
I know everyone has strong feelings about smoking or not smoking, but I can’t get into that discussion.  Smoking is a personal choice and as long as someone’s smoke or litter does not impose on everyone else’s space, then a smoker of adult age has the right to make that choice. Although I will say that I no longer have any living relatives who smoke, I do have friends and co-workers who do. I must respect their choices.
We just need to expect those who do smoke to follow some basic ground rules for disposing of cigarette litter. I searched many sources from Emily Post to the Bible and came across these ‘ancient records’ …  Okay, so in reality the following “Ten Commandments” may not be as significant or as ‘set in stone’ as the original “Ten C’s,” but I hope if you are a smoker, you will recognize their importance in wiping out the cigarette pollution in our community.
The Ten Commandments for Cigarette Litter
I. Thou shalt not toss your used cigarette butt on the ground.
II. Thou shalt not flick your cigarette butt out the car window as you drive down the road.
III. Thou shalt not throw your empty cigarette package on the ground.
IV. Thou shalt never use other venues like toilets and sinks to dispose of your cigarette butts either.
V. Thou shalt not empty your car ashtray on the ground either.
VI. Thou shalt never, ever toss your cigarette litter in a storm drain or a creek, lake, river or ocean.
VII. Thou shalt make sure if you are a business owner or manager that there are adequate cigarette receptacles in designated smoking areas and transition points around your business, like doors and parking lots.
VIII. Thou shalt make sure that if you are a local city or county government that you have adequate cigarette receptacles in public locations, like parks.
IX. Thou shalt dispose of your cigarette litter in a cigarette litter receptacle and not in parking lots, on sidewalks, or in business doorways.
X. Thou shalt always carry a pocket ashtray with you to use when you are on the run. These are available free by contacting Keep liberty Beautiful at 368-4888 or at local downtown businesses.
Cigarette litter is something we can all live without, so remember the Ten Commandments!
Current Keep Liberty Beautiful projects that need your involvement:
Aug. 16, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.: Recycle It! Fair in Midway at the Midway Fire Department. Start sorting your electronics, household paint, old cell phones, and batteries now to turn in. Clean out your closets and storage room to recycle items you no longer use. The fair is sponsored by the Midway Volunteer Fire Department, Goodwill Industries and Keep Liberty Beautiful. Call 368-4888 for information.
May-Aug. 29: Cigarette Litter Prevention Project. Do you hate to see that nasty cigarette butts trashing our sidewalks and roadways? If so, then call to get involved in this awareness project to get those ‘butts’ off the street! Contact Sara Swida at Keep Liberty Beautiful or Vickie Davis at the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority.
If you smoke and would like a free ‘pocket ashtray,’ contact 368-4888 to pick one up. Dispose of cigarette litter appropriately.
Rivers Alive in Liberty County is scheduled for Oct. 25. Mark the date on your calendar now to help with this annual event.
Liberty County: Home of the World’s Largest Crayon. Please help us make this Guinness Book of World Records project a reality by calling 368-4888 or e-mailing We have more than 700 pounds of crayons now, but we need your help as we collect even more used crayons to create this giant crayon this fall.

For more information on Keep Liberty County Beautiful programs, contact Swida at 368-4888 or

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