Sally Dawly reached a major milestone this week. After nearly two years of her community service, the Auburn-native who proudly calls herself the “Butt Lady of Auburn” has picked up and thrown away over 500,000 cigarette butts.
Since October 2014, Dawly has taken it upon herself to clean up the streets of her town one cigarette butt at a time. Her mission has been simple:
“I love Auburn. I’ve been here for quite a while, and I just like seeing it clean,” she said.
After noticing all the cigarette butts around the streets of Auburn, Dawly grabbed a dustpan and got to work. She spends hours each day picking up after people and she counts how many she picks up as she goes.
After 22 months of hard work she reached a milestone this week. The Butt Lady of Auburn said she has collected and thrown away half a million cigarette butts.
“If I left my house without my tools, and I’m seeing a butt here and butt there, I’m like. ‘OK, that’s it,'” she explained. “I turn around and I go back to my house and get my tools to pick them, so I don’t know how I’m going to quit.”
With all the walking, Dawly said she lost 30 pounds and has gone through multiple pairs of shoes. The Auburn Running Company gives Sally free sneakers to help her keep up with her community project.
“We like Sally a lot. She’s very friendly,” said Rick Grimm with Auburn Running Company. “Everybody knows her; she’s one of the characters around town and she’s doing a good service.”
Dawly said she doesn’t do it for the recognition, but to spread the message to throw butts in the proper garbage cans.
She ever spreads her message to clean up Auburn at city council meetings. The City of Auburn listened and has put cigarette receptacles around bars and restaurants.
The city plans to add more receptacles around Auburn in the future.