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Cigarette Butt Recycling Program comes to Franklin; WaterCityUSA focuses on water quality and other environmental effects of cigarette waste

Franklin’s 100,000 butt challenge is on: An innovative recycling program for cigarette butts and other smoking-related litter kicks off June 1 in Franklin and project organizers want 20 local businesses to hand them their butts.The Cigarette Waste Brigade®, brainchild of international recycling company TerraCycle, began recycling the difficult-to-manage waste in late 2012. Their partnership program is offered locally by Water City USA, a nonprofit dedicated to clean water in Middle Tennessee, and a Tennessee Department of Transportation special litter grant.“With a 23% smoking rate in Tennessee, and nearly a dozen cigarettes per person as the daily average, Franklin residents may be generating as many as 44 million cigarette butts each year,” said Mark Thien, Executive Director of Water City USA.According to Keep America Beautiful, as many as 85% of all cigarette butts are discarded improperly as litter. Rain carries the majority of Franklin’s cigarette butts into nearby gutters and storm drains. From there, they make way to the creeks, streams and water systems that feed the Harpeth River.“Fish, frogs and other aquatic life do best with clean water, not cigarette waste,” Thien said. “Franklin business leaders understand this, so we anticipate strong participation in Williamson County.”The program seeks 20 Franklin businesses for a simple proposition: Collect workplace cigarette waste then ship it free-of-charge via program partner UPS. In exchange, partners will receive a stylish stainless steel, tamper-proof and weather resistant ash can, public recognition for participating, workplace fliers and a seminar to help green-focused businesses promote the clean water cause.Franklin’s cigarette butts will be recycled into into injected-molded plastic shipping pallets. The no-cost program seeks 100,000 butts by December 31.Nearly half a million cigarette butts have been shipped under Water City USA’s lead. Interest grows because the program redirects sensitive workplace conversations about smoking toward more inspiring discussions about recycling and community improvement. Thien said it’s easy to support something free and good.A $29,500 Special Litter Grant awarded by the TDOT Beautification Office will help fund the Franklin effort.“Cigarette butts, which are not biodegradable, account for 38 percent of all U.S. roadway litter so this is an important program for us,” said Mark McAdoo, program manager for TDOT. “Water City USA is doing a nice job with this in Nashville, and we're happy to help it expand.”Water City USA is one of 15 community and non-profit groups to receive a grant for special litter pickup and prevention projects that might not happen through regular Litter Grants.Franklin businesses interested in the non-profit’s cigarette waste recycling program are encouraged toemail Butts@NashvilleH2o.org. The organization can be found at Facebook/NashvilleH2O, Twitter.com/ NashvilleH2O or online at WaterCityUSA.org. 

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Monday 05/25/2015
Williamson observes Memorial Day, rain doesn't deter crowd
Updated: May 26, 2015 - 8:48 am

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Updated: May 26, 2015 - 1:52 pm

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Updated: May 25, 2015 - 9:29 am

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Thursday 05/21/2015
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Wednesday 05/20/2015
Vehicle testing to resume May 26 following Memorial Day holiday weekend
Updated: May 21, 2015 - 10:03 am

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Updated: May 21, 2015 - 12:33 pm

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Tuesday 05/19/2015
Fitness commitment gains Moore Elementary students visit with Tennessee Titan
Updated: May 19, 2015 - 8:56 pm

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Commissioner praises state progress but 'more work' to do
Updated: May 20, 2015 - 5:23 pm

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Discover Franklin accepting registrants, series begins June 4
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Heritage Foundation meets tonight to award preservation partners, hold 48th annual meeting
Updated: May 20, 2015 - 5:59 pm

Preservationists crowded The Franklin Theatre for a night of celebration tonight to commemorate the nearly a half century of work volunteers, businesses and longtime residents have undertaken.

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Brentwood man charged with 2nd DUI, among others
Posted: May 19, 2015

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Updated: May 19, 2015 - 10:30 am

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Monday 05/18/2015
Board to reconsider reduced tuition rate for employees, discusses high academic fees
Updated: May 19, 2015 - 8:01 am

The Williamson County Board of Education met for its regular meeting Monday night to vote on key matters including a reconsideration of the out-of-county employee family tuition rate, previously reduced by the board.

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WCS deadline for online enrollment is May 31
Updated: May 18, 2015 - 2:08 pm

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