BIA asks shoppers to butt out

Cigarette ends mar streetscape, say business owners

The Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area has worked hard to beautify its neighbourhood but members are upset by the cigarette butts that are piling up in front of their shops and in their planter boxes.

“(People) smoke everywhere, they just don’t care,” said Alex Ling, past-chair of the BIA and owner of Ling’s Importers.

As chairman for 24 years, Ling was an essential part of the development of the BIA and feels strongly about the littering of butts amongst the sidewalks.

“(Smokers) need to have some respect and be more considerate,” he said.

Ling said that the BIA is thinking of placing ashtrays throughout the sidewalks of the village but feels that they will not get used. He said that businesses along the village place ashtrays outside of their stores and there is still a big problem of littered butts.

Years ago the BIA placed benches throughout the village that had built-in ashtrays on the ends but residents were using them for waste disposal instead of cigarettes.

“It started to smell and that became a problem.”

The BIA decided to replace the ashtrays in the benches with flower boxes. These flower boxes have become the new ashtray.

“It boils down to common courtesy.”

Ling said that if smokers would just be respectful enough to leave their butts in designated ashtrays then the Bloor West Village could continue being to the beautified business area that the BIA has worked hard in maintaining.

About this article:

By: Shannon Vieira
Posted: Mar 3 2010 1:24 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto