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Designated smoking areas help keep Poly clean

February 25, 2010

After the Academic Complex at Arizona State University’s Polytechnic campus was completed, many smokers began using the walkways and outdoor seating as  ashtrays. Smokers were littering and putting out cigarette butts on the cement seating, making a big mess and a big hassle for maintenance personnel who have to spend hours every week cleaning it up.

“People ignore the posted no smoking signs,” said Jean Humphries, assistant vice president of business and finance at ASU's Polytechnic campus. “They don’t realize how hard it is for custodial staff to clean the black tar smudges from the cement benches, or that the grounds crew has to pick up the butts one at a time.”

The mess inspired Facilities Management to take a creative approach to handle the cigarette butts and smoking litter left near classrooms. A new initiative, starting this spring, will encourage smokers to use designated smoking areas – and make sure they put their butts where they belong.

Sixteen new designated smoking areas have been constructed throughout the Polytechnic campus to help reduce litter, keep Polytechnic’s new buildings and malls clean, and provide a better experience for all on campus.

The designated smoking areas also will help with compliance of Arizona law and ASU policy, which prohibit smoking inside university buildings, within 25 feet of any building entrance, and in building courtyards, patios and balconies.

The marked designated smoking areas include benches, trashcans and three-foot high square cigarette urns, as well as trees that will provide shade. Many of the areas will be found throughout the core of the campus, near buildings like the Student Union, the Academic Center, the Simulator Building, Wanner Hall, the Engineering Studio and Technology Center and other convenient locations.

All of the smoking areas will be listed on an updated Polytechnic campus map, scheduled to go online this spring.

”We want the Polytechnic community to take pride in the campus,” Humphries said. “Cigarette butts and other smoking litter detract from our new buildings, and secondhand smoke near building entrances can be disruptive for those attending classes or working in nearby offices.”


Written by Kari Stallcop

Media contact:
Chris Lambrakis