Edmonton smokers could soon have more places to butt out

Edmonton smokers could soon have more places to butt out on 124th Street, Whyte Avenue and downtown.

A motion passed Wednesday by the community and public services committee wants additional ashtrays to be installed as soon as possible.

"I don't think we should be waiting to put those ashtrays back in," said Coun. Ben Henderson.

Last October, the city removed 190 ashtrays that no longer complied with the new 10-metre rule. The amended bylaw requires smokers to be at least 10 metres away from doors, windows and patios.

But business associations said the move came with consequences — as first highlighted in a CBC story and confirmed by a city report.

"We've seen a huge increase in litter, from basically never seeing any cigarette litter on the ground," said Cherie Klassen, executive director of the Old Strathcona Business Association, who made a presentation to the committee.

"As soon as you remove a litter receptacle, human nature isn't going to change just because the receptacle isn't there anymore. When you have no place to butt out or dispose your litter, you're going to chuck it on the ground."

The motion still needs to be approved by city council.