New ashtrays give students place for butts

Douglas Miller

The Ohio Smoking Ban passed this November has forced Kent State to make some adjustments on campus.

Michael McDonald, director of University Environment and Operations, said they have been working on a new, uniform ashtray for the campus. He said that, after the ban passed, his staff removed the old ones because it was a good time to make a change.

The new ashtrays will each be made of a 2-foot piece of corrugated pipe, McDonald said. Since they have to be located 20 feet from buildings, McDonald wanted them to be colorful so students would notice them. They are blue with a gold ring around the top.

“The ashtrays are efficient, attractive and inexpensive,” McDonald said.

In order to keep costs low, McDonald said the ashtrays are being manufactured in-house. They will be filled with sand to prevent fire and stop them from falling or being tipped over. He said buying ashtrays is too expensive, and they do not work well.

“We try to provide a positive environment without raising tuition,” McDonald said. “We operate on a very lean budget.”

McDonald said University Environment and Operations has the fewest number of employees compared to other universities of its size in the state. This cuts costs that can be passed down to students.

The new ashtrays will be more efficient because they are larger and easier to clean, McDonald said. He said the old ashtrays did not hold enough and caught fire easily.

“The cigarette butts have always been a problem on campus,” McDonald said. “There is just no easy way to clean them up.”

Cassie Neumann, senior education and theater major, said she thinks the cigarettes on the ground make the campus look bad.

“I don’t like smoking in general,” Neumann said. “I really don’t like seeing everyone’s butts all over the ground.”

McDonald hopes the ashtrays will help keep the butts off the ground and out of the mulch beds. He said picking up the cigarette butts is very time consuming — the only efficient way to do it is by hand.

He also said his staff had to put the no smoking stickers on every door on campus that specifies where smoking is prohibited. The stickers say there is no smoking inside the building or within 20 feet of the building.

Senior history major Ed Byers said he has been following the new smoking rules but can’t find any ashtrays 20 feet away or even next to the buildings.

“If I can find somewhere to throw it out, I will,” Byers said. “But since there aren’t any ashtrays it encourages me and other people to throw them on the ground.”

McDonald said the first batch of 50 ashtrays will been seen on campus within the next two weeks. He said University Environment and Operations will continue to put more out as the semester continues.

Contact building and grounds reporter Doug Miller at [email protected].