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Windsor Students Lead Effort To Clean Up Cigarette Butts

Windsor VKAT members show off the tobacco litter buckets they decorated to help keep their town clean.

Earlier this month, members of the Vermont Kids Against Tobacco (VKAT) group in Windsor took to the streets to pick up litter. But unlike the statewide Green Up Day effort happening around the same time, these kids were out to collect one thing: cigarette butts.

Credit VKAT
Windsor VKAT members picked up over 2,800 cigarette butts in one week in downtown Windsor.

In one day, the VKAT club collected 1,927 butts from State Street and Railroad Avenue in Windsor. Add that to the total from an earlier outing, and the kids collected over 2,800 cigarette butts in one week.

A couple weeks later the kids got their hands dirty again, but this time they had their sights set on tobacco litter prevention. They met with artist Ben Fox at Artistree, in South Pomfret, and got to work painting tobacco litter buckets to place around town. Now they're asking community members to pitch in by adopting a bucket. A press release sent out by the Mt. Ascutney Prevention Partnership states:

Interested community members are able to adopt these buckets free of charge to help keep Windsor a beautiful place to work, play, and live. By adopting a bucket, the VAKT group will provide a bucket to put up in town where tobacco litter is an issue. All the adopter has to do is empty the bucket as it becomes full.

According to the Mt. Ascutney Prevention Partnership, tobacco products are the number one source of litter worldwide, with 4.3 trillion cigarette butts dropped every year. The chemicals in those butts seep into the ground and are toxic to humans and animals if swallowed.

Interested in adopting a bucket? Contact Rachel Williams, youth outreach coordinator at Mt. Ascutney Prevention Partnership.

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