Fish Donít Smoke
and Other Rainy Season Reminders
By Judy Fulton
Summer is winding down and along with it the dry season. That means itís
time again to start preparing for rain.
Remember, rainwater flows untreated into drains and then directly into
the Bay. That means any material or trash left outside during the rainy
season can end up polluting the environment by washing into drains.
Please do not throw your
cigarette butts on the ground. Dispose of cigarettes butts
properly. (Photo courtesy of Sharon Burns)
Look Around Your Work Area
So take a look around your work area. Have materials piled up outside
that should be brought back in or covered? Are the catch basins full of
debris or sediment and in need of cleaning? How is the general
cleanliness of your area? Is there debris, litter, packing peanuts or
cigarette butts waiting for the next rain to wash them down the drain?
Cigarette butts are a problem that we can readily do something about.
During our annual stormwater evaluation we observed piles of cigarette
butts left around buildingsósometimes just a few feet away from ash
trays and butt cans. They are a threat to water quality and wildlife.
Cigarette litter isnít a problem that goes away quickly eitheróit can
take over 15 years for a filter to disintegrate.
Fish Donít Smoke
Cigarette filters have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds, whales
and other marine creatures that mistake them for food. While being
smoked, the cigarette filter absorbs hazardous compounds such as
cadmium, arsenic and lead. Animals not only eat the filter, but ingest
these toxic compounds as well.
Cigarette butts should be extinguished and placed in a trash receptacle,
not on the ground. Your building manager can make sure that proper
receptacles are available in outdoor smoking areas.
If you have questions about how to prepare your area for the rainy
season, or if you need help with housekeeping arrangements, please
contact Judy Fulton (Ext. 4538,