Norfolk group wants to address cigarette butt litter downtown

Posted at 12:10 AM, Aug 03, 2013
and last updated 2013-08-03 00:10:47-04

Norfolk, Va. - The push is on to kick butts. The problem of cigarette butt litter in downtown Norfolk is something the Downtown Norfolk Council wants addressed.

"A lot of cigarette butts on the street,” says Larry Frame, who was smoking outside the Jewish Mother on Granby Street. Kinda sucks." 

"All over the sidewalks," says Michael Vasquez, who was downtown for First Fridays on Granby Street. 

They're on the sidewalks, streets even on windows sills, but how do you clean this up?

"Where if there's no place to put it, where else can you put it," Vasquez says. 

"I feel bad throwing it on the ground, but I mean what am I going to do?” Frame asks. “Put it in my pocket or something?" 

The Downtown Council's answer to the problem is putting up ten wall-mounted cigarette receptacles on downtown buildings. However, some wonder if the receptacles will really cut back on cigarette butt litter.

"I don't think it would make much of a difference because even when there are receptacles, people still throw butts on the ground. Not worth the effort," says Lawrence.   

But for Karine Varga, who is opening Chartreuse Bistro, a new restaurant on East City Hall Avenue, any way to clean up the butts is good for business.

"I want people to come down there and enjoy themselves and feel like it’s clean and somewhere they want to hang out,” Varga says. “It seems like a dirty place when there are cigarette butts and it's not taken care of." 

The group's proposal will be shown to the city's design review committee next week and will ultimately have to be approved by Norfolk City Council.