Keep Lexington Beautiful putting cigarette urns in parks

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Woodland, Jacobson and Shillito Parks in Lexington have 34 new ash urns installed thanks to the Keep Lexington Beautiful Commission (KLB). The project was supported by a $15,000 grant from Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.

The parks selected for the program are the city’s most-visited. Parks and Recreation staff will maintain the new urns.

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“The urns give park visitors a convenient place to dispose of their cigarette butts, which in turn reduces littering,” says Susan Plueger, KLB’s Executive Director and Director of the city’s Division of Environmental Services.

The impact of the program has been significant. Before and after scans show a 74% reduction in cigarette litter in areas around the new urns.

Keep America Beautiful’s Cigarette Litter Prevention Program, now in its 15th year, is the nation’s largest program aimed at reducing cigarette litter. Since its inception, the program has been implemented in more than 1,700 U.S. communities, including Lexington.

While cigarette smoking in America has decreased 28% in the past decade, cigarette butts remain the most littered item in the U.S. and across the globe.  Tobacco products comprise 38% of all U.S. roadway litter, according to Keep America Beautiful.

 

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Tom Kenny joined ABC 36 News in June of 2001 as a General Assignment Reporter. A native of Peoria, Illinois, he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications from Western Illinois University. He currently anchors ABC 36 News at 5pm, 6pm and 11pm. Tom has more than three decades of experience in broadcast journalism. He is the only broadcast journalist in Lexington television history to be honored with a national Edward R. Murrow Award. Tom was recognized for reporting on a story that gave a rare glimpse inside the secretive world of the Federal Witness Protection Program. He has won an Emmy Award for anchoring and another for investigative reporting, exposing the deceit and potential danger of online diploma mills. Tom has ten other Emmy nominations to his credit for investigative and feature reporting. He has won Associated Press Awards for reporting and anchoring. He has won two Addy Awards for excellence in promotional writing. Tom was the first broadcast journalist in Lexington TV history to be awarded the Silver Circle Award by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. It is one of the highest honors given by NATAS. It recognizes television professionals who have performed distinguished service within the television industry for 25-years or more. Tom was honored for more than his longevity, he was recognized for making an enduring contribution to the vitality of the television industry and for setting high standards of achievement. He was also recognized for giving back to the community as a mentor, educator and volunteer. Tom also has network broadcast experience in radio and television having worked as a sports reporter for ESPN, Sportschannel, NBC Sports and the Breeders’ Cup. He was also the studio host and halftime producer for CBS Radio Sports’ College Football Game of the Week and covered the NFL for One-On-One Radio Sports. Prior to joining WTVQ-TV, Tom was Vice-President of the Houston Astros Minor League baseball team in Lexington. He was part of the original management team that brought professional baseball back to the Bluegrass after a nearly 50-year absence. Tom has lived in Lexington since 1984. In that time, he has been heavily involved with dozens of charity and civic groups, with a special emphasis on helping Veterans. He can be reached at tkenny@wtvq.com. You can also follow Tom on Facebook www.facebook.com/TomKennyABC and Twitter @TomKennyNews. Just click on the links at the top of the page.