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Volunteers sought for Quincy park cleanup

Plumas County residents that want to make a positive impact on the environment will have an opportunity to clean up Gansner Park on Saturday, Aug. 10.

Plumas County Public Health Agency is sponsoring the parks cleanup from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The agency encourages volunteers of all age to join in and help clean up tobacco product waste such as cigarette butts at the park. Volunteers will work side-by-side with PCPHA Tobacco Use Reduction Program staff, whose goal is to reduce the environmental impacts of discarded cigarette butts in our community.

According to a 2011 Tax Burden on Tobacco report, Americans purchased more than 287 billion cigarettes that year. A vast number of those cigarette butts, including the filters, were flicked into the environment, landing along waterways, parks, beaches and public roads.

PCPHA’s Tobacco Use Reduction Program works to raise awareness about the negative impact cigarette filters and discarded cigarette butts have on the environment. Cigarette butts contain heavy metals that can leach into waterways, posing a lethal threat to aquatic life. It is costly to local communities to clean up and dispose of, as well.

An environmental cleanup report from the 2010 International Coastal Cleanup shows that nearly two million cigarettes or cigarette filters/butts were picked up from beaches and inland waterways, including over one million from the United States alone.

Cigarette butts account for more than three-times the number of any other item found over the past 25 years of the annual cleanup. Research shows that cigarette butts have potentially toxic effects on ecosystems. In one laboratory test, just one cigarette butt soaked in a liter of water was lethal to half of the fish exposed.

Efforts at the park will focus on removing cigarette litter. Volunteers will meet by the softball fields on Highway 70 around 11 a.m., be trained on how to pick up tobacco litter, conduct the pick-up, receive a free lunch and leave with a $10 gift card for participating.

Lunch, gloves, trash bags, snacks and water will be provided. Registration is mandatory. To register, contact Melodie Bennett at 283-7098 or melodiebennett@countyofplumas.com.

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