Manassas’ Cigarette Fairy is reducing cigarette butt litter with portable ashtrays


Cigarette butts take an average of 18 months to 10 years to decompose.

MANASSAS, Va. (WDVM) — About 30 historic downtown businesses have agreed to participate in a City of Manassas initiative to reduce cigarette butt litter.

The Cigarette Fairy is a city effort that distributes free, portable ashtrays and special containers for car cup holders to restaurants and businesses.

The city’s Refuse and Recycling Coordinator Monica Boehiringer said cigarette butts take an average of 18 months to 10 years to decompose, and that’s if they stay in one place. Boehiringer says much of its litter ends up in storm drains if it isn’t picked up in time.

“Throwing your cigarette butts on the ground is really not cool,” said Boehiringer. “[The initiative] is just saying, ‘Just put your butts in a safe place where it doesn’t look horrible on the streets, it doesn’t get into our storm drains and our water supplies, and we keep Manassas beautiful.'”

If you’re interested in picking up a portable ashtray, look for a downtown business with a Cigarette Fairy flyer in its window.

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