2021 Year End Report

Happy New Year! Thanks for supporting San Diego State University’s Tobacco Project Waste Reduction Project in 2021. Moving forward in 2022, we are reflecting on our goal of collecting, counting, and weighing, a variety of tobacco waste products in San Diego County to map the occurrences and discuss solutions.

Our highlight of the year occurred in early December when we hosted San Diego City Councilmember Raul Campillo and his District 7 staff as volunteers at one of our data-collection events. We are appealing to other groups to join us this year!

SDSU Researchers posed with Council District 7 Staff ad Raul Campillo
SDSU’s Tobacco Product Waste Reduction Project Team joins San Diego District 7 City Councilmember Raul Campillo and his staff to collect tobacco product waste on December 1, 2021.

On June 24, 2021, community leaders, including San Diego City Councilmember Dr. Jennifer Campbell from District 2, joined our team to kick off the project at Liberty Station’s NTC Park in San Diego. The official data collection began with SDSU research assistants in July. A few months later, our team invited and celebrated volunteer participation. Collectively, the project logged more than 5,000 tobacco product waste products including cigarette butts, vaping products, cannabis products, and packaging in more than 20 random census blocks.

In addition to focusing on our project, we reached out to many of you through meetings and volunteer opportunities last year. We participated in I Love A Clean San Diego’s Cleanup event and joined Escondido’s Council District 1 Councilmember Consuela Martinez’ team for a cleanup event. We also presented information about our program at Groundwork San Diego’s EarthLab event and various community planning groups.

As for collection updates, we have collected a total of 11,358 tobacco product waste from 30 blocks in San Diego. A large portion of this were cigarette butts (95.62%), followed by tobacco products excluding cigarettes (2.57%):

During the next six months, we will return to similar areas to take in account variances for weather (summer and fall compared to winter and spring). In addition to the City of San Diego, we are collecting data on tobacco product waste in Carlsbad, Chula Vista, El Cajon, Escondido, Oceanside, San Marcos, and Vista.  Volunteers are still needed of course! Look for our recap of activities and don’t forget to register as a volunteer while on our website: https://sdsu.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_eLqeLkBzu1hXiQe.

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