Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 28, 2008

Wanda Woodard, right, district anti-litter coordinator with the Mississippi Department of Transportation, and Holley Hadad Simrall, executive director of Keep Vicksburg-Warren Beautiful, count cigarette butts Wednesday at the Mississippi Welcome Center on Washington Street. The MDOT installed Ash Stash ashtrays to collect butts at all Mississippi Welcome Centers this month. Butts counted before the installation at the Vicksburg center numbered 266, contrasting with Wednesday’s count of 77. KAB is also distributing reusable pocket ashtrays and cup holder ashtrays that fit the cup holders in vehicles. “It looks like raising the awareness of tourists that cigarette butts are the No. 1 pieces of litter in the United States” is helping reduce the litter, Woodard said. A tobacco industry study shows 10 to 14 years are needed for a cigarette butt to disintegrate, she added. Similar ashcans were installed in downtown Vicksburg in April. (Suzanne Feliciano•The Vicksburg Post)

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