The Problem

Cigarette butts are the most littered item in the world;  San Diego is no exception. They’ve topped our annual beach cleanup counts for 14 years straight, accounting for as many as 1 in every 4 items found. 

Far from benign, cigarette butts are made from plastic – which does not biodegrade in the marine environment – and contain hundreds of poisonous chemicals. Indeed, just one smoked butt in a liter of water can kill a fish. 

Constantly littered on streets and sidewalks, butts end up in our storm drains and flow straight to the ocean.

butts hotyb
HOTYB can

A Targeted Solution

Working in partnership with I Love A Clean San Diego’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, we’ve installed approximately 180 butt canisters in heavily-trafficked areas all over the county. By conducting cleanups of the immediate area before and after an installation, we’ve documented cigarette butt litter reductions of up to 55% once a “buttcan” is installed!  

Each canister creates a lasting impact in reducing toxic cigarette butt litter on our streets and at our beaches. 

Become a Sponsor

Community support makes this program possible –  you can sponsor a buttcan for a tax-deductible donation of $150. Each sponsorship includes installation, if needed.

We do not empty cans ourselves; therefore, each installation also requires a maintenance agreement. Once installed, the sponsor or recipient will be handed the keys and expected to empty butts as necessary. 

If you’re interested in sponsoring a buttcan, please read our Community Buttcan Sponsor Packet. 

hotyb install
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Volunteer

We rely on motivated volunteers for installations, maintenance, and outreach. Please fill out our volunteer interest form if you’d like to become part of the solution to toxic cigarette butt pollution, or email HOTYB@surfridersd.org if you have questions. 

DIY Resources

Occasionally, we receive requests for cigarette butt canisters in locations/areas that, for whatever reason, are not a good fit for this particular program. Fortunately, sponsoring one of our butt canisters is not the only way to reduce butt pollution.

A wide variety of cigarette butt receptacles are available for purchase from retailers like Webstaurant, Uline, Lowe’s, Sidewalk Buttler, and Ecolad.