(Also: did you know a package of rolly costs $15 in SF these days? Holy crap).
own local cigarette tax, a
$0.33 cent per pack fee $0.20-per-pack fee, lowered Monday by Mayoral intervention, that would go into effect on October 1, won’t help pay for health costs, the school district, or anything else save the effort and energy needed to reach down, pick up those narsty smelly discarded cigarette butts, and place them into the trash.
The fee, proposed by Mayor Gavin Newsom, is intended to cover the $11 million annually spent by the city to collect old stanky ciggies. How did the city come by that figure? Simple math: the city spends $44 million a year on picking up litter, cigarette butts account for 25 percent of the city’s detritus, ergo the city spends $11 million a year on picking up after smokers.
But rather than paying for more ashcans, more trashcans or more ways for the city’s smokers to dispose of their waste, money collected under the fee is legally bound to pay only for cigarette collection. Not for picking up broken glass, burrito wrappings or compost: just cigarette butts.
How, exactly, will the city ensure this? The Department of Public Works, the entity whose workers will be doing the collecting, isn’t sure, and directed inquiries to the Mayor’s Office.
We’ll post back when we hear a reply, but in the meantime, the city’s out-of-workers could do worse than to practice their butt-collection technique: stoop, scoop and drop, people. Stoop, scoop, and drop.