Nik Butler: Impressed by the commitment to providing more ashtrays

JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001
JPCT 120314 S14110969x Nik Butler -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141203-095917001

I for one am impressed. I did not think it was possible but I believe we pulled it off. We managed to create the country’s most expensive ashtray improvement scheme and it would not have been possible had it not been for all that consultation and meetings that went before.

Granted I was skeptical at first. I thought the plans for our new yellow brick road were intended to improve footfall, to increase dwell time within the retail boundaries, and to encourage new investment. Now that the new ashtrays have arrived I can see how wrong we all were. Those meandering yellow bricks are no metaphor for the flushing away of prosperity down the u-bend of marketing they are signposts for the feet aiding the butt stricken residents of Horsham to locate their nearest receptacle of disposal. I presume the use of bamboo is a faintly allegorical message intended to reinforce the cultural and economic impact of the tobacco industry in countries such as Kenya for which http://www.tobaccotobamboo.org is doing a stirling job; but I digress. It is a delight to see that not only do the existing dual purpose bin-cum-ashtrays, already smolder away like Thuribles before Mass but now the random selection of bamboo containers offer alternative means of filtered abandonment. We should probably inquire into the selection of council staff; in being tasked with the emptying of waste bins in West Street have they also been provided with potting soil and gardeners gloves to reset the containers for another day? As ever though, in all things Horsham related, we are missing an opportunity. These dirt delved moments of addiction are in reality the perfect opportunity to encourage guerrilla gardening. Greenbutts (http://green-butts.com/) suggest that within those cigarette filters seeds can be distributed awaiting their chance to grow and spread a little green amongst the urban smog, smoke and waste. For now though visitors to the Yellow Brick road can enjoy the sight of urban bamboo struggling to grow among the detritus of ash and cigarette butts which are slowly collected every week. One small benefit in these new ashtrays is that they lack the dried bark coverings which were so much easier to ignite with little encouragement. It does however beggar belief that the given reason for making no effort to deal with their litter responsibly is that there are not enough ashtrays provided.