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Don't just toss your cigarette butt on the ground, Covington officials ask

Posted at 2:22 PM, May 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-17 14:22:13-04

COVINGTON, Ky. — Covington officials are saying "no butts allowed" as the city works to prevent cigarette litter.

The city will install 23 cigarette "stands" or "urns" on lamp and sign posts, and bars will distribute "pocket ashtrays" as part of the effort. Officials are also planning a publicity campaign urging residents and visitors to "trash the cig, not the city" and to "love the Cov, no ifs, ands or butts."

"We think with these steps we can have a big impact on how Covington is perceived," said Amy Lyons, a board member of local group Keep Covington Beautiful.

Cigarette butts can be a common site in many places, but Covington officials said it's a bigger problem than people may realize. A butt is made of plastic that can take up to 10 years to decompose. When they wash into storm drains and rivers, the butts leach chemicals into the water supply.

A group of Northern Kentucky University students recently picked up cig butts in Mainstrasse. They found 934 butts on just one block of Main Street, city officials said.

"In the worst areas, you can't take a step without feeling overwhelmed by all the cigarette butts, and that just creates a negative image," Lyons said. "The cleaner Covington is, the better it will be, not just for the environment, but also for businesses and even residents."