- New Orleans is kicking a new cigarette butt recycling program into action. The city is placing 50 bins around town for smokers to discard their used butts in.
- TerraCycle Inc. developed the program, which was initially implemented in Canada in November 2013; New Orleans touts itself as the first city in the U.S. to participate in the program.
- New Orleans will earn around $4 per pound of butts collected.
So what is the process behind recycling the discarded cigarettes? The organic part of the cigarettes are composted; this includes tobacco and paper. The filters, made of plastic, are shredded and melted into plastic pellets. The pellets are used to make industrial materials, like lumber and shipping pallets.
TerraCycle says it has collected 25 million butts around the world since November 2012. It struck a deal with the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, TN to collect and recycle butts in the arena. Other cities are considering establishing similar programs, and the sustainability company has entered into talks with representatives from Toronto, Sydney, Tokyo, Phoenix and Atlantic City.