ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — We’ve all seen cigarette butts littered on sidewalks and street corners. Now, the City of Roanoke’s Stormwater Utility is addressing the issue in a unique way.

They have launched a new campaign to address the need to reduce cigarette butt waste in the Central Business District.

The campaign is a partnership with Clean Valley Council, Downtown Roanoke, Inc., Roanoke Arts Commission, Keep Virginia Beautiful, and the Solid Waste Division.

To take part, Roanokers are asked to tap into their musical talent and write a jingle sharing the message of reducing cigarette butt litter.

Submissions must be original tunes and lyrics. The top five jingles will be awarded $100 in Downtown Roanoke gift cards.

Other components of the campaign include:

  • Anti-littering jingle competition with the Roanoke Arts Commission and Downtown Roanoke, Inc. (March 1-31)
  • New cigarette butt receptacles and outreach placed downtown with help from the Clean Valley Council (April)
  • A focus on encouraging and implementing recycling cigarette butt waste (Summer 2021)
  • Partnership with business owners and downtown residents to implement creative ways to reduce cigarette butt litter with help from Downtown Roanoke, Inc. (Summer 2021)

Even though cigarette butts as little may seem like a small problem, it has been an increasing issue in the downtown Central Business District.

Not only does the litter affect the downtown experience, little on City streets and sidewalks eventually makes its way into our local waterways.

Cigarette butts are one of the most commonly littered items in the United States. In storm drains, roughly 32-percent of litter consists of tobacco products.

Cigarette butts are not biodegradable — a common misconception, as cigarette butts are made of a type of plastic that persists in the environment.

To learn more about the special jingle competition, click here.