Cigarettes & cigarette butts


Don't be a tosser!

Cigarette butts  red-lid-bin_3127941682660100354.jpg  business-recyling-icon_1406232248626718036.png

Cigarette butts cannot be recycled or composted.  They are made from a combination of various materials, and the filters are designed to trap tar and other toxic chemicals.  Therefore the butt contains plastics and residue of hazardous chemicals.  Cigarette butts should be disposed of into the red lid garbage bin.

We have installed more than 50 stainless steel ash bins in many of our parks, reserves and shopping precincts for smokers to dispose of their cigarette butts and ash. Many of our street bins have ash bins incorporated in their design. If you know of an area that would benefit from having an ash bin, please contact us on (02) 4232 0444.

An exciting new program now offers the opportunity to recycle cigarette waste.  A company in Sydney called Terracycle is accepting cigarette butts, ash and packaging for recycling into new plastic products such as outdoor furniture and rubbish bins.  Check the Terracycle website to find out how you can collect and send off these items for free to them from your home or office.

Terracycle icon        Terracycle cigarette waste brigade

So why should you care?

Cigarette butts littered on streets get washed into stormwater drains and into waterways where they leach toxic chemicals such as cadmium, lead and zinc.

  • butts are commonly mistaken for food by marine life and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, sea turtles and other marine creatures
  • cigarette butts are made from non-biodegradable plastic and can take up to 12-15 years to break down
  • cigarette butts are responsible for 8-10 per cent of bush fires in rural areas.

Flicking cigarettes from your vehicle; stubbing out and flicking butts onto public areas such as footpaths, roads, gutters, bus shelters and outside office buildings can all incur a fine under the Protection of the Environment Operations Amendment (Littering) Act 2000.

What you can do to help reduce cigarette butt litter:

  • if you are a smoker, dispose of your cigarettes butts responsibly by always putting them in a bin
  • carry a portable ashtray with you to use when there are no bins around.  Collect your free portable ashtray from our Administration Building, 11 Manning Street, Kiama.

At home, dispose of all cigarette butts and ash in your red lid garbage bin.  

Cigarette packets  photo of yellow lid recycling bin  red-lid-bin_3127941682660100354.jpg

Cardboard packets with the plastic wrapping and inner foil paper removed, can be placed in your yellow lid recycling bin.  The plastic wrapping should be disposed of according to the 'plastic film and wrappers' section of our Plastics  page. The foil paper is not recyclable and should go in your red lid bin.