Boston Mayor Walsh Launches “Neat Streets” to Target Cigarette Butts on Boston Streets and Sidewalks

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BOSTON – Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh launched ‘Neat Streets,’ an interactive public space installation, which aims to deter littering behaviors among residents and visitors who smoke cigarettes.

Boston Mayor Walsh
Boston Mayor Walsh

“Boston is a beautiful city, but to keep it that way we must all do our part to keep our streets clean,” said Mayor Walsh. “This smart and innovative effort incorporates a public polling process to engage our residents and visitors in protecting our environment.”

Modeled after a similar initiative in London, the Neat Streets initiative is aimed at decreasing litter on the streets in an interactive manner. One facet of the initiative is the cigarette butt receptacle, which prompts smokers to dispose their cigarette in a slot on a board by voting for the question being posed at the top of the board. For example, “More essential Boston winter gear? Hats or boots?” Residents and visitors are encouraged to submit questions to @CityofBoston on Twitter, using hashtags #NeatStreets or #NeatStreetsBos, through March.

Boston-buttsCigarette butt receptacles will be located throughout the city at locations chosen based on maximum foot traffic. Neat Streets will be installed by the end of February. danger!awesome, a makerspace, helped in tailoring the boxes for Boston streets.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States, killing more than 480,000 Americans each year. Smoking causes immediate damage, which can lead to long-term health problems.

The Boston Public Health Commission offers online resources and features a number of programs that offer convenient, low-cost tobacco treatments to help with cessation.

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