Cigarette butts could be used to make loft insulation pillows in a new experiment being carried out by Harrow Council.
Currently, around 4,000 discarded cigarettes are dropped every 24 hours in Harrow town centre alone. This waste is then dumped in landfill, as normally, it cannot be recycled.
To solve this waste problem, the local authority is figuring out the feasibility of linking the processes to transform cigarette waste into loft insulation.
Harrow Council head of service Jerry Hickman said: If we can get the complete production line working, we would like to offer insulation to all residents in the borough. We hope to have some insulation pillows ready in three to six months time.
Currently, the street waste goes to a dirty materials recycling facility which processes street rubbish to try to extract the cigarette ends from the rest of the waste. It will then be transferred to an autoclave, which will destroy the toxins and the recovered material can be used to make insulation.
Harrow Council is also currently looking at the possibility of building its own autoclave over the next few years.
The council has been in contact with fibre waste and cigarette recyclers Igloo Environmental. Founder and technology inventor Shaun Grimes said: Recycling cigarette butts has not been done anywhere else in the world. Im very proud, as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology couldnt do it but we can.
Cigarette butts are highly toxic. Just a few are deadly to the average male and I think they should never go to landfill.