Sidewalk Buttlers Looking to Expand into West End
Mike Roylos, former owner of Spartan Grill, sold his business to pursue a passion: cigarette butts.
Okay, to be more precise, his passion is cleaning the butts off the streets. As owner at Spartan Grill Mike got fed up watching people toss their butts all over the plaza around his business. He knew that an improperly disposed cigarette butt more often than not ends up in the ocean. There are 69 carcinogens found in cigarettes that no one wants to land in the ocean thanks to litter.
“Our concern is clean water,” said Mike at the March West End Neighborhood Association meeting.
“If you’re going to smoke… I’m not your nanny. But if you put it out on the ground — that’s a problem.”
Mike presented at the WENA meeting in hopes of getting more sidewalk buttlers into the neighborhood. There are currently about 100 buttlers in downtown that have collected about 400,000 cigarette butts since 2014, according to Mike.
The sidewalk buttlers attach to existing infrastructure such as light posts or street sign poles. They are self-extinguishing and even have RFID tags that can be read by smart phones — this makes it easy to track the usage of the sidewalk butters.
The butts are collected in Portland by workfare participants then shipped to Terracycle, a recycling company in New Jersey (better there than here, right?). The filters of cigarettes are made out of plastic. Terracycle turns the filters into recycled plastic products like pallets or park benches. The tobacco and ashes are used in compost after being cleaned. They are not spread in areas that grow food, according to Mike.
Local businesses and individuals can sponsor a sidewalk buttler for $89. You get to say where the buttler goes and get your branding placed onto it.
To learn more visit www.sidewalkbuttler.com.