No Butts ‘Competition’, from Dukes, Sidmouth March 23rd 2019

Not surprisingly, we didn’t have a big crowd for this not-very-attractive test that Anna B and I came up with. We ran a little competition, with the help of Louise from Becketts Coffee Shop who donated a prize of tea & cake for 2, to see if we could highlight where the worst areas were for cigarette butts. We have had a targeted donation from a lovely lady of £300 towards some butt bins around the town (but we need to get agreement for them to be emptied regularly, or volunteers organised…that is another issue) but first we need to know where they will be best situated.

It’s not often we can name all the people who came along but that is how low the numbers were today, so thanks very much to Tony, Sally, Ricard (from the Lions), Anna Bo(co-conspirator), Anna Br and her two children, and me – so just between the 8 of us we managed a staggering amount. Here are the results:

Area Number of butts
Church Street 229
Outside the Marine, pavement and gutter 206
The Triangle (whole area) 184
The pathway down by the river, near the Ham 122
York Street 59
Market Square (around back of loos, down towards Dukes 51
Around the Ham toilets 43
Car Parks – various 42
Around the Volunteer pub 40
Around the disabled parking spaces opp Belmont 40
Kings Lane 39
Seafront opposite Dukes, under benches, near drains 37
Sensory Gardens (Ham) 35
Around the parish church 35
Blackmore Gardens 26
Corner of Chapel Street 25
Directly outside Dukes, gutter 25
Dove Lane, near scaffolding 22
By cash point 16
Outside Estate Agents – various 15
East Street 15
Corner of Winchesters/Russell Street 10
Outside betting shop 9
Outside Costa Coffee 8
Outside disused shop 8
Outside Radway Inn 8
Outside Co-Op 8
Total 1355

So if we’d had more people, we confidently think we’d have had a lot more as there are plenty of other grot spots we didn’t reach!

Now to work out where we need bins, once the Big Belly ones are replaced we may not need so many there – my thoughts are that we should have fire resistant buckets, get the kids from Sidmouth Primary to paint them (Coco?), and fill them with sand and have them all along the seafront, Church Street, ask the pubs to ALL have covered ash trays, ask Stagecoach to provide bins at their bus stops around the Triangle, plus we could put a couple of jazzy buckets in the triangle by the benches, and have lots of signs up throughout the town (backs of toilet doors? on bins?) with the information about the issues around cigarette ends – such as detailed in this report as I’m sure many smokers just aren’t aware of the problems caused by them dropping their butts.


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