People Employed

Revenue Generated

Cigarette Butts Recycled



Seeing Opportunity

Cigarette butts are the number one most littered item in the world, accounting for 37% of all visible waste. In addition, the cellulose acetate found in cigarettes make them non-biodegradable, causing detrimental effects to our environment. After surveying smokers, the Enactus team at the University of Ottawa realized that most smokers were unaware of the harmful effects of littering cigarette butts, and that the existing cigarette collection receptacles were impractical and dirty. The team wanted to find a sustainable solution to this environmental issue, while providing a meaningful employment opportunity to one of the most neglected groups in our society, individuals with a mental illness.


Taking Action

CigBins is a cigarette butt collection and recycling service with innovative and user-friendly receptacles. The Enactus team approach various property management companies to have the bins installed on their properties. The companies pay for a one-time installation fee ($120 per bin), and a recurring servicing fee ($30 per pickup), on a weekly or biweekly basis, depending on the company’s needs. Working in partnership with the Causeway Work Centre, CigBins contracts out the servicing jobs to individuals with a mental illness. Once a large quantity of cigarette butts is collected, they are shipped off to a third party vendor who recycles the butts, transforming them into plastic.


Enabling Progress

CigBins now has five part-time employees. To date, the business has generated $73,200 in revenues and this number is projected to grow to $162,000 in 2015, with an expansion planned to Toronto and Montreal. On the environmental front, CigBins has already collected and recycled 100,000+ cigarette butts, a number that is expected to grow to 2.4 million butts in the next year.