Locals are invited to attend a free, open event to keep cigarette waste off the street and out of landfills at Preston's Colfax Clean Butt Crawl August 19 at 5 p.m. A community cleanup and birthday celebration in one, participants will meet at Prohibition (http://www.prohibitiondenver.com) and split into teams to gather as many cigarette butts as possible; the team with the greatest amount of cigarette butts will be rewarded with a prize. All cigarette butts collected will be recycled through TerraCycle’s free Cigarette Waste Recycling Program.
“The purpose of this event is to encourage others to prioritize keeping Colfax Avenue clean,” said Preston Murray, Preston's Colfax Clean Butt Crawl organizer. “I have planned it around my birthday to leverage the people who care about me to care about donating their time to benefit Colfax and the cleanliness of our city in an effort to clean as much of the neighborhood in which I work and live around the occasion of my next year of life.”
Traditionally, a combination of organic material and cetyl acetate plastic render cigarette butts unrecyclable and destined for landfills. Through the Cigarette Waste Recycling Program, individuals and organizations can ship these to TerraCycle for recycling into usable material for new products at no cost.
“A community member and I were talking recently, and he asked if I knew of a company called TerraCycle that recycles cigarettes,” Murray explained. “Cigarette butts are often overlooked during the community’s monthly trash cleanups because of the massive amount of them on our streets, there in part due to the lack of safe/proper cigarette disposal units in Denver, so I’m excited to host an event specific to cigarette waste.”
Denver non-profit Harm Reduction Action Center will host the monthly Colfax Community Cleanup the morning of Preston's Colfax Clean Butt Crawl; Murray serves as the Development Director for the non-profit organization. Starting at the HRAC offices and moving along Colfax Avenue at 11 a.m., team members and volunteers pick up improperly disposed litter and engage the community in beautification. Any individual or groups interested in volunteering can participate by contacting Preston Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In 2016, HRAC hosted 10 neighborhood cleanups with 110 volunteers participating. The agency hopes to show its neighbors, local law enforcement, and the business improvement district how invested they are in the community. Murray continued, “Our participants have buy-in to our services and know that helping us keep Colfax clean helps them continue to have access health services such as syringe access, overdose prevention, and health education.”
Any individual or groups interested in reducing local landfill waste can learn more about TerraCycle’s Cigarette Waste Recycling Program at www.terracycle.com. [Organizer's description]