Great River Network requests smoke-free waterfront

John MacGillis
Great River Network requests smoke-free waterfront
Cigarette butts discarded by smokers can be found along the Waterfront Trail (John MacGillis/ Seaway News).

CORNWALL, ON – A request to make the Waterfront Trail a smoke-free zone from Power Dam Dr. to Gray’s Creek, was sent to Cornwall City Council by the Great River Network.

The path that is home to walkers, cyclists, and runners is currently littered with discarded cigarette butts and requires intervention to keep the watershed clean, according to the Great River Network’s letter to Cornwall City Council.

“Network members are very concerned that almost 30% of Cornwall’s population smokes,” said Patricia O’Hara, the Great River Network’s Chair in their letter. “This results in an excessive amount of cigarette butt waste.”

One of the groups concerns with cigarette butts is the damage that it causes to fish population with local fisherman finding cigarette butts in the stomachs of fish, according to the letter. Similar concerns are held by Councillor Elaine MacDonald, who described cigarette filters as “impossible to recycle”, citing the difficulties in managing their waste.

“I think this issue is really worth raising even if it doesn’t pass, because it is a crucial step in educating the public on how bad these things really are for the environment,” said MacDonald. “Even having more receptacles to discard butts would likely greatly reduce the number of butts.”

Great River Network has requested in past years to make Lamoureux Park smoke-free as well, according to their letter.

The letter was sent in advance of the council meeting on Monday, Aug. 12. The letter can be found here.

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