by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First
Business owners in Kimberling City are having a problem with people leaving their cigarette butts all over the parking lot.
The problem has sparked a campaign by business owners called “Hold Your Butts.”
These butts are causing a stir, not only because they’re unsightly — but also because they’re causing a potential hazard in the area.
Judy Garrison is General Manager of Table Rock Resort at the Kimberling Inn.
“They are very nasty,” Garrison said.
A few years ago, Ozarks Water Watch helped put in pervious pavers at the Kimberling City Shopping Center to help catch storm water.
Travis Schultz, a bartender at Castaway’s, located in the area said, “Cuz this parking lot has a bunch of little cracks in it — and the cigarette butts get stuck down in the cracks..and of course they have no where to go but. Yeah, it is kind of irritating.”
According to Water Watch, the cigarette butts are clogging the pavers, preventing some storm water from being stored and filtered.
“A lot of people just..put them out..throw them out to the ground,” Schultz said, “Throw them right in front of the door on the way in, you know.”
Table Rock Resort at t Kimberling Inn
Garrison’s business is also affected.
“It’s not good for the environment. The birds get them.. make nests out of them. No, they’re not good,” said Garrison.
When smokers use the shopping center parking lot as their ash tray..it’s the businesses and their employees who do damage control.
“Well, we have to go out and clean them up,” Garrison said, “When we come in to work, they stop and try to pick some up on the way in. It’s just a nuisance..and it looks horrible.”
“It’s just a hassle to have to clean it up,” said Schultz, ” We used to have a “butt out” container in front of the door — and one day it caught on fire…and uh.. I ran out there and put it out real quick. It was pretty entertaining.”
“Because they don’t put them out beforehand, they just drop them down in there,” said Garrison, “We do have two by the end. But, our people know to put them out prior to putting the in.”
According to a release from Ozarks Water Watch, a survey surprisingly reveals that 77-percent of the people who participated, do not think of cigarette butts as litter.