HR Strange But True!
October 31, 2008

While the Smoke Free Illinois Act may have reduced workplace smoking, it has caused a major increase in something else ... cigarette butts outside building entrances.

And the village council in Forest Park, Illinois is fighting back by mandating that businesses clean them up.

Since the Act bans smoking within 15 feet of entrances to public places or workplaces and for the removal of all ashtrays in areas where smoking is prohibited, there has been a major increase in smoking debris along sidewalks. Although not mandated by the Act to address this upsurge in litter, the village had hired developmentally disabled persons from a local agency to sweep up along main thoroughfares, but the problem was villagewide.

This caused both the mayor and the executive director of the local chamber of commerce to suggest action to get all businesses do their part in cleaning up. "It's a civic responsibility," said Mayor Anthony Calderone in an article in the Forest Park Review.

So in a 4 to 1 vote, the village council passed an ordinance requiring businesses to keep sidewalks and parkways clear of debris including cigarette butts, although a previous mandate for businesses to provide smoking "receptacles" did not make the ordinance. Violation of the ordinance can lead to revocation of a business operating license.

Casting the sole "nay" was Commissioner Mike Hosty, who feared that the close proximity of businesses along certain streets could lead "feuding neighbors" or competitors to "sabotage" one another by dumping butts on a walkway.

Source: Forest Park Review

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