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'Drop Your Butts Here': In An Effort To Cut Back On Litter, City Tests Pilot Program On Brookline Boulevard

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - Take a walk down Brookline Boulevard and you'll find litter: soda cans, food wrappers and cigarette butts line the street.

But thanks to a new city pilot program, the street might have a cleaner future.

Residents noticed small metal boxes marked "drop your butts here." There's 28 of them attached to light posts down the boulevard.

"Yeah I haven't seen these before!" said Bill Wiseman, resident. "Handy! Somebody had a good idea."

Wiseman walks the boulevard each day.

"God gave us this boulevard where friends meet and enjoy the boulevard -- so the least we can do is keep it clean," he said.

For that to finally happen, the cigarette butts need to find a new home.

"If they could do that, that would be great. That would help a lot," said Sal Bondi, owner of Sal's Barber Shop.

He spends the first part of his morning sweeping the litter from the front of his shop.

"Nobody wants to pick up something that's been in somebody else's mouth, but also, as they break down they're leeching all kinds of chemicals into the soil," said Caitlin McNulty, Brookline Together.

McNulty says her team spent a few hours this past weekend attaching the cigarette butt collectors to the light posts and she hopes it creates change.

"It's pretty easy -- it just locks and there's a cylinder that drops out," she says.

Just one small step to clean up the streets of Pittsburgh -- a city that forks out nearly $2 million each year for litter control, according to a new study by "Keep America Beautiful."

Researchers just finished a litter research study and found even PennDOT spends more than $13 million each year to collect trash thrown from car windows.

Of the 502 million pieces of litter collected, cigarette butts make up nearly 40 percent.

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