So this weekend my friend Mardi Jai wanted to include downtown Reno's river corridor as part of a larger "Two Hands" Ocean 5 Network Global Clean-Up Day. It sounded like a fun Saturday morning with friends and a way to contribute to keeping my own neighborhood clean, so I met her down at Wingfield Park to spend an hour cleaning up trash and cigarette butts. It was fun, though a bit disturbing in regard to the high number of cigarette butts. Each one of us kept count of how many cigarette butts we cleaned up, and it totaled about 2,860; Two garbage bags and 7 jugs full of cigarette butts, and another two garbage bags full of larger trash and plastic bottles. For the most part, given hundreds (and sometimes thousands) of people are downtown daily during the summer, we have a really clean downtown that exceeds the cleanliness level I've seen in larger cities. I also discovered Wingfield Park is quite pleasant to hang out in during the morning hours. It's full of joggers, bicyclists, couples walking their dogs, and tourists out doing early-morning exploring beating the heat.
I'm thinking we need more receptacles like this downtown or perhaps this. They don't cost a lot. These even go with our downtown motif. According to Keep America Beautiful, installation of numerous cigarette receptacles reduces the amount of litter on the ground. I'm not sure who the cigarette butt litter fairy is in downtown Nashville, but I noticed the Nashville Rotarians received a grant from Keep America Beautiful to purchase cigarette butt receptacles for high transition areas. Maybe we can do the same thing! Hmm city council? Or Reno Rotarians? Smokers, would you use these downtown?
It was a rewarding experience, enough so that I plan to head back down next Saturday morning to spend another hour cleaning up our beautiful park.