Erie County Introduces Garbage Totes in Parks

New totes include smoke-free message

Erie County Executive Chris Collins and Parks Commissioner Jim Hornung, in conjunction with the Erie Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition and Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, are pleased to announce the County has added garbage totes inscribed with a non-smoking message to park shelters in several County parks. The totes will make it easier for parks crews to remove debris, while also delivering an important message. The Erie Niagara Tobacco Free Coalition contributed to the purchase of 400 totes that carry the request, “Help us keep Erie County parks smoke free and litter free. Please no smoking.”

The totes are already at shelters in Chestnut Ridge, Como Lake and Ellicott Creek parks. All other County parks should have them by mid-September.

County Executive Chris Collins said, “Keeping our parks clean and accessible is a priority for my administration. With so many families using the parks, I think the smoke-free message is appropriate. Asking patrons not to smoke in our parks will lead to less litter and the totes will help us remove debris more quickly.”

“Congratulations to Erie County for joining an ever-expanding list of regional municipalities who have adopted statements, policies and ordinances in support of smoke-free parks,” said Anthony Billoni, Director of the Erie-Niagara Tobacco-Free Coalition. “The totes in County parks carrying the smoke-free imprint will send a strong clear message that tobacco use should not be part of healthy outdoor activities.”

“I am very pleased that the Erie County Parks Department is asking people not to smoke, to improve the quality of life for its citizens who use the parks,” said Gretchen Leffler, Regional Vice President of the American Cancer Society. “This may encourage others to get out of their homes and take a walk around one of the beautiful parks available to them to enjoy the clean air and get some physical activity.”

Parks Commissioner Jim Hornung said, “We’re pleased to partner with Roswell Park and the Tobacco-Free Coalition to send this important message. Cutting down on second-hand smoke and reducing the number of cigarette butts in shelters will make our parks an even better destination for families. This will enable us to keep our parks cleaner than ever before.”

Tobacco use can be offensive and detrimental to the health of children and adults who are engaging in or watching outdoor recreational activities at municipally owned or operated facilities. The County has not created a law against smoking, but encourages smokers to refrain from lighting up in all County parks.

Media Contact

Annie Deck-Miller, Senior Media Relations Manager