View Full Version : cigarette buts

01-25-2001, 05:56 PM
Anyone know of a quick and easy way to pick up cigarette buts, besides by hand? Is there a vacume or something on the market that would pick them up wet or dry? I was asked this today by a customer and I'd like your input. Thanks,


01-25-2001, 06:35 PM
never tried a handheld vac but not much luck with the goat butts get stuck in the grass...works great on flat surfaces but you may need to blow out butts stuck in cracks...I use a backpack blower to get them outof grass for mulch beds an ez reacher would do but by hand is quicker

01-25-2001, 07:10 PM
I have a commercial account that is on one of the busiest avenues in town. It is a place that needs to look good at all times for the account and for my own image. The front has a low drainage ditch along the state highway. There is a drainage pipe from the other side of the highway that is higher than my account's side. When we have big rains, about four or five times a year, it washes all the trash from the other sides parking lots. It washes up thousands of butts. 200 feet long in two rows about 10 feet apart. they get like that from the water going down and finally draining.

Only way I have found to be effect enough is to just use the 21" with a bagger and mow right down the rows. The next fastest is to use a rake and bucket. Made the mistake, first time when this happened years ago, of mowing over them with gators. Within minutes it looked like a cotton field ready for harvest.

01-25-2001, 07:16 PM
We use steel tine lawn rakes to get them out and off of the aprons along city streets or wherever it is a constant problem. We also have a clause in our contracts where this is additional labor at xxx dollars/hour.


01-25-2001, 07:46 PM
I have a real good way of dealing with them. Buy the little Stihl hand held blower, don't remember the model, and get the vaccum attachement. I use mine at all my commercial accounts-----mainly for cig butts. It is also very handy to remove trash and leaves from square corners where it tends to build up.

I was going to start a new thread the other day and forgot too, it was to ask everybody what the handiest small tool was that they had purchased. I was going to let everybody know that these things work well. It will pick up just about anything you can get the nozzle over, including rocks so be careful.

01-25-2001, 10:07 PM
I agee with Homer. I just bought an Echo blower/vac and use it all the time on my comm accounts.Works great for leaves, cig butts,garbage etc. It beats sweeping along curbs. It's also a backup blower if I need one.Yes be careful it will try to pickup everything.

01-25-2001, 10:13 PM

You can say those things suck and get away with it!

01-25-2001, 10:17 PM
Good one,Homer. LOL

01-25-2001, 10:19 PM
there is a hand held vac that is called the gator and it will pickup objects without grinding them it will pick up a soda can and other soild objects.

01-25-2001, 10:22 PM
Got a web site or any other info? Sounds neat.

01-25-2001, 10:51 PM
On my appartments and other commercial jobs i blow them on the drives, or street then pick them up with my billygoat. Its really not much of a problem. It eats glass,soda cans,beer cans and lots of paper. Marks Mowing Service

01-26-2001, 04:11 AM
i think i saw the gator jeffc a few years ago in handy man
magazine can you give more info

01-26-2001, 02:16 PM
For a mass of butts, to get them all in one simple shot, sweep into a pile with a Shindiawa power broom, then rake into container. For this type of cleanup we use old bedsheets. Spread sheet out, stand on edge of sheet, and rake between your legs. By stretching the sheet with your feet, it's like a broom and dustpan. Lot easier than trying to put numerous butts and small bits if debris into a container.
Bagger 21" mowers will usually get 80% to 90% of scattered butts in the first pass.

Eric ELM
01-26-2001, 02:38 PM
I found this in a search. This place is located in Alberta Canada. Gator Vac --- (403) 747-2099

Davis TLC
01-26-2001, 02:46 PM
Only have this problem at one commercial account. Just have to rake the butts up and bag them, then throw them in the business's dumpster. More of a problem where lots of customers come into a place of business and throw their cigarettes down as they enter.

Looked at one commercial account that had a breakroom for its employees, outside the breakroom in the landscape beds were hundreds of cigarette butts. Told them it would be an extra charge to keep them cleaned up, when they have ashtrays to put the butts instead of throwing them down on the ground.

01-26-2001, 07:30 PM
I like Davis TLC's idea of charging more to pick up the buts. This may slow down the amount on the ground if it cost them more.

01-26-2001, 07:35 PM

Bluegrass Lawn Service
01-26-2001, 08:57 PM
I use backpack blower, a broom and shovel. I can't imagine putting another machine on my trailer.

Mid Rivers
01-27-2001, 12:20 PM
I noticed one person charges extra for something like this. Is this the norm or do most just do it as part of the job?

Davis TLC
01-27-2001, 04:58 PM
The sheer volume of cigarette butts at this one location, is why I added in a charge for cleaning them up each visit. A simple solution for the business would be to install a receptacle for the butts. But it would have to be weather proof, since the smoking area is outside of their breakroom which is designated as a no smoking area. On my other commercial accounts I have not had a problem of this scale.

For some reason the employees seem to think that the mulched landscape beds are an ashtray.