Litter Crackdown: Discarded cigarette butts end up in waterway

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Cigarette butts are seen on the ground on Lakeshore Avenue in Houghton.

HOUGHTON — Houghton is trying to crack down on littering in the downtown.

The city handed out flyers to businesses downtown notifying them of cigarette butt littering last week, Police Chief John Donnelly said.

“We have an aide who’s been coming down and walking around there sweeping them up, but it’d be easier if people didn’t throw all the cigarette butts out there,” he said. “Times have changed, and cigarette smoking, especially the littering part of it, is just not acceptable anymore.”

Donnelly said the department is working with businesses to make sure employees who smoke do so in the accepted locations and dispose of the cigarettes properly.

If not picked up, the cigarette butts eventually are washed into the city storm system and deposited in the Portage Lake Canal, the city said in a memo to business owners.

Violations are subject to a fine under the city’s littering ordinance.