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Sunday, May 19, 2024

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North Wildwood Links with Recycling Firm to Rid Beaches, ‘Walk of Cigarette Butts

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By Press Release

NORTH WILDWOOD – The City of North Wildwood has joined forces with TerraCycle, the world’s leader in the collection and repurposing of complex waste streams, to recycle the world’s most littered item – cigarette butts. 
According to a release, after being shipped to TerraCycle, the waste collected through the program is processed into plastic pellets for use in a variety of recycled products while the remaining tobacco is composted.
Through this program, North Wildwood is not only addressing the nation’s most commonly littered item but also a form of potentially harmful waste since plastic cigarette filters persist in the environment long after the associated paper and tobacco has decomposed. Since implementing the program, cigarette collection receptacles have been installed at each of the city’s beach and boardwalk entrances to divert toxic cigarette waste from shared waterways while preserving the area’s beauty.
The city decided to install the receptacles after smoking was prohibited on North Wildwood’s boardwalk and in-response to the state-wide smoking ban recently implemented on New Jersey beaches. 
The initiative was funded by a small project grant provided by Sustainable Jersey, a nonprofit organization that provides tools, training and financial incentives to support community sustainability programs.
“With the recent state-wide beach smoking ban, The City of North Wildwood had to do something with the waste that would most certainly be littered on our beach, ocean, and piled at every beach entrance,” stated Mayor Patrick Rosenello. “We have known about TerraCycle for some time now, and I am grateful for their partnership, as well as Sustainable Jersey for funding to make this project a reality,” continued Rosenello. “Cigarette butts are the largest contamination in our oceans, and North Wildwood was able to combat that waste by recycling over 38,000 cigarette butts through a partnership with TerraCycle and Sustainable Jersey.”
All of the collected waste is shipped to TerraCycle for recycling. When processed, the paper and tobacco is separated from the filter and composted. The filter is recycled into plastic pellets which can be used by manufacturers to make a number of products such as shipping pallets, ashtrays and park benches.

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