A NEW campaign launched in Dorchester this week in efforts to encourage smokers to Bin Your Butt!

Organised by Litter Free Dorset, the campaign is asking people to use appropriate street bins, wall-mounted cigarette bins or a portable “stubby bin” to help achieve a cleaner county.

The Litter Free Dorset team have been working with Scott Bailey, Dorchester Keeper of the Walks street sweeper to record the number of cigarette butts found along Dorchester High Street.

Litter Free Dorset are collating this information and will be putting it up on signs at either end of South Street. 

Charlie Wild, Litter Free Dorset project officer said: "The signs will be updated each week to show whether the number of cigarette butts has increased or decreased since previous week. It is hoped that this feedback will mean that butt numbers reduce in the town. This is because people behave differently when they feel like they are being watched – the higher and lower signs show people that their behaviour is being monitored and this means they are more likely to do the right thing. 

"People tend to follow others – if people see that the trend in cigarette litter in the town decreases they will follow the pack and join in and positive feedback reinforces positive behaviour – people like being praised for doing something good and people also like being part of a group that is doing well.

"As cigarette litter decreases the recognition people get from being part of something positive will mean they are more likely to carry on putting their butts in the bin."

Mr Wild added “We are really excited to start the campaign and hope that it will make a difference to the town. We have been carrying out baseline audits in preparation for the campaign and recorded 326 cigarette butts on Dorchester South Street. These had accumulated over a period of 15 hours since the last street sweep at 2:30pm the previous day, and we want to get this number down.” 

Mr Bailey is very supportive of the campaign.

He said: “Cigarette butts look unsightly and create the wrong impression. If the town is clean, a good 90 per cent will use a bin. I live here and want it to look nice; it’s a gorgeous town with a lot of history. A lot of people have remarked and said that it looks great to compared to other towns they had visited during the holidays. The main thing is that they go away with the right impression of Dorchester.”

Local businesses in Dorchester town centre have been approached in the run up to the campaign to get involved. Businesses are doing their bit to help by displaying posters, having bins for smokers available and handing out personal stubby packs – a small pouch that holds cigarette butts until you can find a suitable bin.