Action Research’s very own Research Associate, Erica Viola, recently co-authored an article on reducing cigarette waste for Waste Advantage Magazine: “Oceanside, CA and Cigarette Pollution Solutions Team Up to “Butt Out” Cigarette Waste”. The article described the success of a cigarette pollution reduction program that was built on Action Research’s work with Keep America Beautiful (KAB), Caltrans, Keep California Beautiful, and Butts Only Boxes © . KAB contracted with Action Research to conduct a study on the effectiveness of ash receptacle (Butt Boxes) and signage installation. Researchers observed smokers’ disposal behavior prior to receptacle installation and again post-installation, and measured the influence the receptacles had on proper cigarette-butt disposal.
The findings from this research indicate that there are ways to greatly improve proper disposal of cigarette butts at rest areas. The study showed a 5.5 percent increase in proper cigarette butt disposal at sites with ash receptacles installed. Results also enabled researchers to recommend the most effective placement of ash receptacles and signage for maximum benefit, namely that the containers should be closer to parking lots and visibly marked.
Using these results as guidance, the past four years have seen the installation of over 15 new cigarette disposal receptacles near high traffic areas, similar to the areas identified in Action Research’s rest area study. These receptacles have collected more than 170 pounds of cigarette butts—keeping them off Oceanside’s streets and beaches. Click here to read the full article, click here to learn more about Action Research’s past projects and follow us on Facebook and Linked In to stay up-to-date on Action Research’s newest projects!