LONDON - NOVEMBER 16: A stubbed out cigarette is seen on the footpath on November 16, 2004 in London, England. Under plans released by the British Government, smoking could be banned in all workplaces and anywhere serving food in England including cafes, restaurants and most pubs within a few years. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

This story was originally published on February 22nd, last updated on March 22nd.

Newport City Council is looking to tackle cigarette butts and litter on the city’s sidewalks by holding local merchants more responsible for making sure the area in front of their businesses are clean of cigarette butts and debris.

At their March 22nd meeting, Newport City Council voted 7-0 to pass a resolution that is “Requesting the City Administration to draft an ordinance requiring merchants to pick up cigarette litter”.

The ordinance will be intended to hold local merchants responsible for making sure the area in front of their businesses are clean of cigarette butts and debris. The resolution goes on to also ask city administration to “review current ordinances related to litter and fines”.

The resolution was sponsored by Councilor’s Ceglie, Florez, Taylor, Napolitano and Leonard.

Current City Ordinances Related To Litter

A current Newport City Ordinance, “8.24.120. – Prohibited activities”, specifies littering in the following way – “Littering. Litter barrels are provided in parks and on sidewalks solely for the collection of litter from pedestrian traffic. No person shall place or allow to be placed any solid waste upon roads, streets or public or private property in the city contrary to this chapter.”

Currently, littering is also considered a public nuisance in ordinance “9.17.010. – Public nuisance” – “Illustrative of such unlawful conduct for purposes of this ordinance is excessive noise or traffic, obstruction of public streets by crowds or vehicles, illegal parking, public drunkenness, public urination, the service of alcohol to minors, fights, disturbances of the peace and litter; illegal drug activity, and the illegal use of fireworks.”

Current Ordinance “5.98.030. – Standards” states “A sidewalk café shall close and all cafe seating shall be removed from the cafe area no later than eleven p.m. The cafe area shall be cleared of all furniture, obstructions and trash and swept clean of litter, cigarette butts and other debris no later than midnight.”

In 2015, Newport City Council adopted ordidnance “12.32.130. – Smoking prohibited on public beaches, in public parks and cliff walk” which states “No person shall smoke a cigarette, cigar, or other tobacco-related product on or within any beach or public park owned, operated, maintained or managed by the city.”

Resolution Proposing  New Ordinance

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Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.