San Francisco leverages Litterati to generate $4M

by Jeff Kirschner

Data used to defend a cigarette tax.

Cities devote significant resources to clean up cigarette waste. Discarded butts, packs, and their plastic wrappers get stuck in sidewalk cracks, wash down storm drains, and contaminate waterways. San Francisco city officials decided to act—and believed that Big Tobacco should shoulder some of the responsibility.

Over a 5 day period, Litterati’s technology was used to identify and map 5,000 pieces of litter across a random sampling of 32 specified areas—unbiased data showing exactly how much city litter was generated from cigarettes. Based on the data, an existing cigarette sales tax was doubled, generating +$4M in annual revenue. This capital is used to help San Francisco clean itself up.