Bag the Butts 2024

On Saturday, April 20th, MYC and the City of Keene Youth Services Department partnered to collect used cigarette butts that had been tossed on the ground throughout Keene to then be disposed of properly.

The Monadnock Youth Coalition partnered with the City of Keene Youth Services Department for our Bag the Butts event this past Saturday, April 20th. Bag the Butts was done through the Monadnock Region Earth Day Festival and Green Up Keene, all to celebrate Earth Day (on April 22nd).

Supplies, such as gloves and bags, were picked up via the drive-thru at Keene Public Works that morning, or people could still find them at the festival if they wanted to collect the cigarette butts in the afternoon. Once the cigarette butts were collected off the streets, sidewalks, within parks and playgrounds, people could then drop them off at the MYC table at Railroad Square.

MYC had a table within the square from noon to 4pm, along with many other vendors that were there to spread information on steps that you could take to protect the Earth, or from vendors who were selling items that were environmentally friendly. MYC kept the bags of cigarette butts in front of the table to showcase just how much people were able to find throughout downtown Keene.

The cigarette butts were then packaged by the City of Keene Youth Services Department to be shipped to TerraCycle, a recycling company that specializes in “hard-to-recycle” materials. TerraCycle allows people to mail in their used cigarettes, coffee capsules, baby food pouches, etc., for free by providing a shipping label you can download at home.

Cigarette butts are not only an eye sore, but can take 10 years to degrade. The nicotine leftover in a cigarette butt is still enough to cause nicotine poisoning in a dog, cat, or other small animal if ingested. Plastic cigarette filters have been found in the stomachs of birds, fish and other marine animals that mistake them for food. Cigarette butts also contain toxic chemicals that contaminate the environment and water.

Even though Bag the Butts is over, that doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a difference. At any point, you can pick up biodegradable ziplock bags at the store (we got ours from Target), along with gloves, to pick up cigarette butts within your community. Together, we can clean up Keene to make it beautiful and safer for animals and people alike. Here is the link for TerraCycle if you’d like to do so –


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