New Cigarette ‘Buttlers’ Help Centre Street Look Its Best

Jane Helms / JamaicaPlainNews.com

One of the new Sidewalk Buttlers on Centre Street

In November, Jamaica Plain News reported that smart receptacles for cigarette butts would soon be coming to Centre Street. These Sidewalk Buttlers are now up. Each box bears the name of a local business that helped sponsor the project. The boxes are inconspicuous, so you might not have noticed them yet.

“I think that they’re really helpful because I do smoke and there are not always trash cans nearby,” said Ari Barrett, who works at Caffé Nero. “I’m glad to see the city making an effort to keep things nice.”

Most of the people on the street Jamaica Plain News spoke to Monday afternoon hadn’t even noticed the new receptacles.

Pam Goodale, the owner of station8salon, said she chose to sponsor the effort after the JP Business & Professional Association reached out to her.

“I jumped on it because litter has always been an issue here,” said Goodale, who is herself a smoker. “I’ve seen people putting their butts in there.”

  • lee

    I think this is a terrible idea. Sure, some smokers may use them and litter may be reduced somewhat. But what these things really do is give the message that smoking in public areas is condoned and even accommodated. This will increase the number of smokers out on the narrow often crowded Centre Street sidewalks. The annoyance and health hazard created by secondhand smoke far outweighs any benefit from less litter.
    We would do much better to reduce litter and secondhand smoke by discouraging smoking on Centre Street. These only increase it.

  • lee

    I think this is a terrible idea. Sure, some smokers may use them and litter may be reduced somewhat. But what these things really do is give the message that smoking in public areas is condoned and even accommodated. This will increase the number of smokers out on the narrow often crowded Centre Street sidewalks. The annoyance and health hazard created by secondhand smoke far outweighs any benefit from less litter.
    We would do much better to reduce litter and secondhand smoke by discouraging smoking on Centre Street. These Sidewalk Butlers only increase it. Even their name suggests we should pander to smokers.

  • Marty

    umm. Last time I checked, smoking cigarettes was still legal. People are going to do it anyway, so why not provide a way for the butts to be disposed of in a safe, clean manner. I’m not a smoker but I can’t recall the last time that someone’s smoking bothered me as I walked through the commercial area. The rate of people smoking is way down so the numbers are just not there the way they were twenty or thirty years ago.

    • lee

      Whether secondhand smoke bothers your or not, it is a carcinogen, causes asthma and aggravates symptoms of COPD, causes heart disease and is one of the worst health hazards. It is illegal in indoor public places and in many parks and outdoor places including all of Boston Common. It should be banned on Centre Street too and will be sooner or later. Until then, let’s not encourage the smokers by installing ugly expensive special butt receptacles for them. We already have trash barrels. They should use them, like everyone else and be fined for littering if they don’t.

      • Scott

        Unfortunately, we have way too many citizens who can’t be bothered to properly dispose of their trash. If the trash receptacle isn’t at arm’s length, chances are they’re just going to let it fall to the curb. Until smoking is banned in the area (and we get tougher on littering in general), solutions like these are necessary.

  • Monster

    Smokers are gross. And these face-level buttcans are also gross. On balance, though, these might (or might not) be less gross than plumes of buttlitter blowing around your ankles everywhere you walk.

    In summary, all options are gross, but at least smoking is a great way for dumb people to get rid of their extra money.