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How to Buy a Cigarette Receptacle | Buying Guide

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Cigarette Illustration

Shopping Cigarette Receptacles?

Proper disposal of cigarette ashes and butts in public places is no longer the exception - it's the rule. Encourage smokers to smoke only in designated smoking areas by installing cigarette receptacles in your facility. Placing the right cigarette receptacle in the proper location is your best guarantee that cigarette butts wind up in the receptacle, and not as litter on the ground.
"Proper disposal of cigarette ashes and butts in public places is no longer the exception - it's the rule."
Fortunately, the days of utilitarian, unattractive ash urns with few options have given way to new materials and inventive, colorful designs. Now it's easy to find the perfect cigarette receptacle for your situation and location: indoor or outdoor, free-standing or wall-mount, public or private.

Cigarette receptacles can be grouped into three main categories:

1. Ash Urns (Butt Urns)

Free-Standing and Attachment

Cigarette ash urns have open trays filled with sand, silica pebbles or similar material. While they are typically stand alone units, they are also often attached to the side of a trash receptacle. Lit cigarette butts are quickly extinguished as a result from the diminished oxygen supply as the burning end is submerged into the fill sand or silica pebbles. The urn also provides a visible and easily identifiable safe collection point for the discarded ashes and finished cigarette butts.

3. Ash/Trash Receptacle

Cigarette Ash Urn & Trash Receptacle

Also quite common are combination cigarette ash/butt urns and trash receptacles. The standard design is an exposed ash urn on top of the receptacle, with openings more specifically for trash. Combination units come in a variety of sizes and shapes, the most common being large-capacity trash receptacles for indoor and outdoor use.

2. Smokers Station

Cigarette Butt Receptacle
Free-Standing and Wall-Mounted

Newer design cigarette ash/butt receptacles feature the most inventive ways to dispose of cigarette ashes and butts. These come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors and construction materials, each with unique designs to snuff out, dispose of, and extinguish cigarette butts.

Cigarette receptacles are constructed from a wide variety of materials to accommodate just about any aesthetic. Most materials used for construction are naturally non-flammable and/or fire resistant. Each material usually comes available in a variety of color options to choose from.
The major features most locations demand are high-volume, weather resistance, and ease of use. Understanding these demands, as well as additional design features of various styles of cigarette receptacles, will aid you in purchasing the right model to meet your locations' particular requirements.

Butt Disposal Slot

Discouraging undesirable waste from being disposed of into the cigarette receptacle should not be overlooked. Undesirable waste materials present potential clogging and flammability issues. One popular method to help prevent this activity is to engineer the disposal slot design so it is just big enough to allow cigarette waste to enter, but not too small discourage use.

Additional enhancements developed for the disposal opening are snuff screens, which provide a safe and hygienic target to extinguish cigarettes. The screen minimizes smoldering and increases proper insertion of cigarette waste into the receptacle that results in a cleaner look and more attractive smoking area overall.

Flame/Smoke Control

Smokers have a tendency to not fully extinguish their cigarette butts before discarding them into a receptacle. This can lead to potential fire hazards in and around smoking areas. Smoking receptacle designs use several engineering tactics to combat this potential threat. Fire has three contributing factors heat, fuel and oxygen. Take away any one of the three and a fire can not exist. The most feasible principle to control is the restriction of oxygen or suffocation.

The common use of sand in ash urns provides a rather nice aesthetic but more importantly acts an ideal suffocation medium. The classic wall mounted ashtrays have self-closing snap shut lids that work by limiting the supply of oxygen within the tray collection canister. Smokers Stations implement the use of airflow physics in the design by forcing oxygen up and out the narrow neck away from the collection pail.

Keeping the collection tray/pail free of flammable debris is an effective way to reduce potential fuel sources. Providing a nearby trash receptacle encourages proper disposal–this is where the Ash/Trash combination receptacles proves it merits. The disposal opening of most Smokers Stations addresses this issue by limiting the size of the opening, as with more recent model design, with the implementations of snuffer screens that physically screen out unwanted waste.

Waste Removal

Maintenance of cigarette receptacles can play a vital role in the safety of a smoking area. Eventually the receptacle must be emptied, and maintenance capabilities will help dictate the best type of receptacle for the area. high-volume areas may require a higher rate maintenance frequency or maybe larger capacity receptacles. Some receptacles are available with a trap door for easy access to the collection pail, others offer easy disassembly or simple cap removal to gain access for waste removal. Ash urn sand can be sifted through to retrieve waste and then reused.

The major idea is to encourage proper cigarette waste disposal to keep the smoking area ash and butt free, but also minimize unwanted flammable waste to reduce the chance of fire hazard.

Portability, Stability & Security

With the evolving changes in smoking laws, smoking areas are becoming more and more prevalent in and around public access areas. Places where smokers congregate can vary depending upon the facility. Each various situation will obviously have a direct effect on the requirements for the cigarette receptacle. Some environments may require the receptacle to be versatile and have mobility; others might need to be weighted down, while some could require a complete and total lock down.

Most cigarette receptacle options available in today's market are light weight aside from those made from concrete. Manufactures have built-in features for those who want a little more tipping resistance with options varying from a molded in brick cradle to accessorial hardware hold down kits.

Multiple useful accessories are available to enhance several aspects of most cigarette receptacles from easier maintenance to safeguarding against theft or even better, odor control.


Steel collection pails in a size and capacity to match the cigarette receptacle are available as part of the unit, and as replacement pieces.

Odor-Absorbing & Fire Suppressing Filters

Some cigarette receptacle collection pails accommodate a filter, which fits inside the pail. This filter uses a combination of baking soda (odor control) and release of CO2 (fire suppression).

Disposable Bucket Liners

Just twist, tie, and toss these fire resistant poly liner bags specially designed for use inside a smoker station.

Attachable Signs

Some receptacles have designated spaces for attaching signage. "No Smoking", "Smoking Area" and "Thank You" direct smokers to the receptacle. Custom-made signs and logos can help reinforce your brand or establishment.

Weight Ring, Security Cables, and Bolt-Down Hardware

All of these accessories assist the cigarette receptacle in maintaining its proper location, whether it be resisting the strong forces of Mother Nature or just some local ruffians.

Focusing on smoking purely from the safety and litter control aspects will continue to be a prevalent consideration future. Providing the right kind of receptacles and making it easy for smokers to comply with proper disposal will not only help maintain a litter free smoking area, but it will provide safety. Manufactures have developed a wide selection to meet just about any specific requirements. Three major factors to consider when installing a cigarette receptacle are as follows:

1. Balance Volume vs Capacity & Maintenance Frequency

How many smokers will be using the area will equate to a certain volume of cigarette waste, thus requiring the waste be cleared at a balanced rate. The frequency of maintenance required will also greatly depend upon the capacity of your cigarette receptacle(s).

2. Visibility & Convenience

Placement of cigarette receptacles plays a vital role in the success of compliance. Local regulation may require certain distances from doorways or windows, but it's important to make sure smokers can still locate the receptacles to ensure butts don't end up on the ground. Color can also be a way to attract attention, and quantity can drive the message home. These considerations will determine the success of compliance, thus resulting in a safe, litter free smoking area.

3. Environmental Issues

How windy or rainy is the smoking area? What is the likelihood of unwanted waste collection? What is the potential for vandalism in the area? The answers to these questions could help determine if the cigarette receptacle needs a security cable or just be weighted down with a brick. Considering the environment of a smoking area will ensure a longer life for a cigarette receptacle and help save some money.

Call 1-800-323-5664 or Email sales@belson.com
627 Amersale Drive | Naperville, IL 60563 | (800) 323-5664 | sales@belson.com