After a seven-month study, results on the effectiveness of educational marketing to combat Glendale’s cigarette litter have been deemed inconclusive.
The study was ignited in May of last year in response to a city council request to study how educational marketing campaigns would affect cigarette litter.
Anti-cigarette litter signs in popular smoking locations throughout several parks, promoting the movement at events throughout the community, stuffing water bill envelopes with informational flyers about the hindrance of cigarette litter in public spaces, webpage updates and giveaways were all part of the city’s incentive for citizens to do their part in keeping the parks clean.
Over the seven-month period of the study, the number of cigarette butts decreased from over 1,200 at several of the city’s parks to 875; however, two measures taken between each end of the study had shown an increase of total cigarette litter, which peaked at nearly 2,000 butts.
Hopeful for more stable and positive results, Interim Civic Center Administrator Stephanie Miller said the inconsistency in the numbers may have crippled the study, but did not hinder the city’s continued efforts to get the word out about throwing away trash at the parks.
“Parks are a wonderful place for families and individuals and the community to come out and recreate and enjoy the amenities that we have. While it might be just one cigarette butt in a specific location, litter definitely adds up and we want to make sure that we provide the best park experience for our citizens so we need help from park users to help try and keep the parks clean,” Miller said.
Miller added that the city has decided to continue its efforts in decreasing cigarette-generated trash by keeping the signage in place and continuing to spread the word about the impact litter has on the community.
The city has also decided to shift its focus on all types of trash in the parks, Miller said.
“Unless we are directed to, we will not be doing counts like this again in the foreseeable future. Looking forward, our efforts will be more focused on keeping our parks clean in general,” Miller said.
Miller added that although there are no city-run events for the public to get involved in anti-cigarette or litter campaigns, they are always welcome to clean up the parks on their own and take a deeper look into the educational outreach the city will continue.