During our Earth Day Event this year, we had volunteers and staff members clean up the property between all three buildings. We- Residents and Staff as a team- were out in force picking up trash in the trees, on the grass and in all the planters. It was a very successful event that I was happy and proud to participate in.
The most common trash that we picked up and bagged was cigarette butts. Thousands of cigarette butts. Bags of them. We are talking about high traffic areas that have many people travel from all over, not just residents of the three towers. We can’t expect everyone to adhere to our requests when it comes to where people can smoke and dispose of their cigarette butts, but we can lead by example.
The problem isn’t just about people smoking while walking by, it is also residents of the three buildings smoking on their balconies and throwing their cigarette butts to the ground below. This practice is incredibly dangerous. We have had cigarette butts that were still lit hit wooden furniture on both our 5th floor party room terrace and the ground floor pool terrace, leaving scorch marks. So not only is it a terrible littering problem it is also a fire hazard.
Where we have been lucky thus far, especially as our other two sister buildings have had balcony fires, some of which were caused by improperly disposed cigarette butts. Please and I can not stress this enough, PLEASE DO NOT THROW YOUR CIGARETTE BUTTS OFF YOUR BALCONIES.
So, what else can we do? Outside, all around the property, the garbage cans have a side-mounted cigarette butt disposal. Point your friends, family, visitors, tenants or fellow dog-walkers that smoke to these areas. If you live here, please take pride in that. Dispose of your cigarette butts by putting them out and placing them into a container.
It is also important to remind people that smoking is not permitted inside the building, including stairwells, common areas and the underground. Please click here for more information on where you can’t smoke or vape in Ontario. Several more related articles are also included below.
Other ways to help and educate others is by sharing this blog post and volunteering time to help clean up during future Emerald City events. If you see someone smoking in areas that they shouldn’t, or improperly disposing of cigarette butts (especially by throwing it off their balcony), please inform Security and Property Management. The more information that we have to work on, the more likely the issue can be resolved.
As a reminder, should you be caught littering on the property, you will be back-charged a minimum clean-up cost of $75.00 +HST by Property Management.
- Douglas Carney, EC1 Superintendent
Other related articles:
"think before you flick" - CBC
"Toronto wants smokers to stop littering with cigarette butts" - BlogTo
"Don't be a flicking idiot" - CTV