Worcester County Health Dept. awards Ocean City $2K grant for installation
(Nov. 23, 2018) Aiming to reduce a common pollutant, Worcester County Health Department awarded Ocean City a $2,000 grant to finance installation of cigarette butt receptacles at the ramps to the Boardwalk for next summer.
Councilman Tony DeLuca told the City Council on Monday the intent is to reduce the proliferation of discarded butts west of the Boardwalk.
DeLuca provided an update during the council meeting on Monday regarding efforts launched by the Green Team to incorporate receptacles in “dead zones,” within the Boardwalk barrier project that is scheduled for completion prior to next summer.
He said the project would include all street ends along the Boardwalk up to 27th Street, with the potential to expand the project farther north in subsequent years.
Public Works Director Hal Adkins, who is consulting with City Engineer Terry McGean to evaluate potential receptacle locations, said placement is crucial as the spots are likely to become de facto designated smoking areas west of the Boardwalk.
“Do we really want to create a designated smoking area before someone reaches the Boardwalk?” he asked.
Adkins said a principal concern is receptacles creating a cluster of smokers blocking pedestrians from entering and leaving the Boardwalk.
“That would cause a congregation at a specific location [and] also create a smoky situation,” he said. “Now, you’re subjecting every nonsmoker who’s going to use the Boardwalk to have to walk through both a congested area and, potentially, a cloud of smoke.”
Adkins said the final phase of the Boardwalk access project to install bollards at each street end would create safety dead zones, which will provide ideal areas to attach PVC-tube receptacles similar to those presently on the beach.
Although plans are still being finalized, Adkins said the goal is to avoid placing cigarette receptacles near sidewalk ramps prior to the Boardwalk, or in close proximity to businesses or residences.
“I’ve gotten it away from the proverbial front door of the adjoining property owners,” he said.
Adkins said the grant funds would cover material costs for Public Works to build “butt hut tubes,” similar to those found on the beach, and also noted the dispensers are intended mainly as disposal sites and not designated smoking areas.