WENA Sidewalk Buttlers: First neighborhood association to purchase cigarette recycling devices
Pretty soon, you will see two new Sidewalk Buttlers in the West End. The locations are still to be determined.
The Sidewalk Buttlers provide a means for smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts other than on the sidewalks and streets. The collected cigarette butts are not just disposed of in a landfill, but are recycled into other products including park benches and sunglasses.
Mike Roylos, local entrepreneur and inventor of the Sidewalk Buttler, presented at the march 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. Other organizations such as Friends of Congress Square Park have installed Buttlers, but WENA is the first neighborhood association to do so.
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.
WENA says that if the first two Buttlers are successful, they plan to purchase more in the future.