Montreal volunteers trade in cigarette butts for beer

Three Male Friends Enjoying Drink At Outdoor Rooftop Bar

A group of Verdun residents got together Saturday to clean up as many cigarette butts as possible, with the promise of a pint of beer as a reward.

The community group Demain Verdun organized the first edition of Mégofest.

“We chose four spots to clean up: three metro stations and one close to the beach,” said organizer Céline-Audrey Beauregard. 

Laeticia Charlet just moved to Verdun from France and decided to help out to get to know her neighbours while cleaning up the area.

“I thought it was a great idea to be part of such a beautiful project,” she said.

By the end of the day, volunteers could almost fill an entire garbage bag with the cigarette butts they had collected.

Exchange of responsibility

Verdun resident Pierre Parker said the reward of free beer wasn’t what enticed him to come out. 

He spent his time cleaning up along De l’Église Street.

“I think there’s a lack of ashtrays,” he said.

“In front of the Tim Hortons, there’s hundreds of cigarette butts and there’s not even one ashtray. So I can’t fault people for throwing their butts on the ground.”

Beauregard says smokers should consider carrying portable ashtrays.

“You cannot put ashtrays everywhere, it’s impossible,” she said.

“It’s an exchange of responsibility: individual responsibility as well as that of the city and community.”

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Read the original story by Sarah Leavitt in the CBC.

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