The Hartford Courant had an interesting article this past week, written by Matt Sturdevant about how Foxwoods is actually recyling cigarette butts. We all know that smoking is generally accepted across the country as something to expect when visiting a casino. Whether it’s that think smell in the air from a ciggie, or a stogie, smoke is part of America’s casinos because some people like to have a few cigarettes while they gamble.
According to Foxwoods, at least 716,000 cigarette butts have been collected in the past six months at Foxwoods Resort Casino. That works out to an average of nearly 4,000 cigarettes, or 198 packs, smoked daily at the casino. The number could be even greater than that, but 716,000 is the estimated number of cigarette filters, or butts, that Foxwoods bagged up from its casino ashtrays and mailed to a specialty recycling business in New Jersey. Foxwoods started the recycling program in November.
Instead of ending up in a landfill, the butts are made into plastic pellets that can be made into pallets or plastic “lumber” for industrial purposes. Cigarette filters are plastic “….that’s meant to look and feel more like a fiber, which is why people tend to think, and why there’s a big misconception that, cigarette butts were biodegradable, which, in fact, they are not,” said Albe Zakes, a spokesman for TerraCycle of Trenton, N.J. – a company has been recycling butts since 2012 in Canada and the U.S.
“We’ve really targeted casinos, stadiums, concert venues and those type of large-scale places where people are smoking en masse,” Zakes said.
For every pound of butts, roughly 1,000 filters, TerraCycle donates $1 to Keep America Beautiful for its anti-litter campaigns, Zakes said.
For every pound of cigarette waste Foxwoods sends to TerraCycle, $1 is donated to the United Way of Southeastern Connecticut.
So, maybe there is some good that can be done concerning smoking in casinos. The attempt to make casinos non-smoking has not really succeeded as well as hoped. Notably, recently in New Orleans, smoking will no longer be permitted in bars, gambling halls and many other public places such as hotels, workplaces, private clubs and stores. Harrah’s New Orleans will soon feel the pinch of that, since casinos outside the city limits do not have to ban smoking. And remember Revel? Atlantic City? that was supposed to be completely non-smoking.
Well, kudos to Foxwoods for finding something positive concerning the historic connection between smoking and gambling.
That’s all for now.