Thieves Blamed for Cigarette Butt Problem at UH

MANOA (KHNL) -- We continue our Earth and Sea Project from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where petty thieves are being blamed for an eyesore involving cigarettes.

University of Hawaii student Randy Lao enjoys one last puff, puts out his cigarette, and walks over to a trash bin.

"I try to keep the environment clean as much as I can," he said. "I don't throw cigarette butts on the ground."

But clearly, many smokers on the Manoa campus do.

Last week, tossed cigarettes blanketed the area outside Sinclair Library prompting a clean-up. Now, the butts are back.

"When you see so many butts on the ground, what's your reaction?" this reporter asked.

"I guess people are just not taking responsibility for it," Lao said.

UH officials say they did provide old coffee cans filled with sand for smokers to use.

"We've noticed though that these ash cans tend to get stolen on a regular basis for whatever reason," Gregg Takayama, University of Hawaii, said. "And so we try as much as possible to replace them as often as they're stolen. But they just don't keep up."

For now, the University hopes a special sidewalk cleaner it recently acquired will help.

"Rather than pushing them on, onto the grass or dirt, they'll actually pick them up and make it cleaner," Takayama said.