Public Parks Becoming Public’s Ashtray

RUSSELLVILLE, AR – A Russellville city ordinance prohibits smoking at city parks. With cigarette butts all over the place though, it’s clear evidence of a violation that could come with a misdemeanor charge and a fine in some cases of $500.

The city park in Russellville has become the public’s ashtray collecting the butt end of smoker’s habits.

The Russellville Recreation and Parks Director, Mack Hollis, pointed out cigarette butts covering the ground that boils down to littering. He says this is despite many signs that clearly say smoking is not allowed.

He claims not only does it negatively affect the quality of living but could affect the little reasons we have the park in the first place.

“You go out and there’s cigarette butts laying by the play units,” Hollis explained. “You’re pretty sure that someone’s been sitting there trying to smoke a cigarette around someone else’s kids. We’re trying to correct that.”

He says as of right now he just wants to approach the public and say “c’mon, you can smoke in the parking lot but don’t take it around the kids and don’t just throw them on the ground.”

The ordinance has been in place for over twelve years. He says ten years ago the parks weren’t  as popular as they are now. He understands that with more people there is going to be more rules broken.

The city has written numerous tickets for littering, including tossing cigarette butts out, this year.

Multiple groups have approached the city volunteering to help pick up the trash. That work should start early Wednesday (6/26) morning.

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