Fifteen to twenty years ago, a new way of making money easy appeared in Russia. It was required to collect as much cigarette ash as possible and hand it over to the pharmacy, or deliver it to the address indicated in the newspaper ad - it was allegedly possible to get a considerable sum for it. Passing by word of mouth, with the development of information technology, the idea of collecting ashes migrated to the Internet, announcements about the reception of unusual recyclable materials began to appear on forums. Over time, interest faded, but the question of whether cigarette ash is now accepted still pops up sometimes in friendly conversations, then all on the same Internet forums.
How it was
Some claim that ash collection ads were popular since the days of the Soviet Union, while others believe that this idea began to gain popularity in the 90s of the last century, when new ways to make money literally out of thin air appeared and disappeared every day. Nevertheless, everyone who considered this way of earning real, named both specific volumes (almost always different - from one gram to a three-liter can), and specific amounts at which the ashes are accepted. The price has always been high, but not exorbitant, so as not to frighten off those who want to earn extra money.
The reasons for the sudden need to collect ashes were also named different - from prosaic (they were assured that it was required for the production of fertilizers) to fantastic (allegedly, a high content of useful substances was found in cigarette ash, in particular, rare earth metals necessary for the needs of the pharmaceutical industry) … There were heated debates over whether it is possible to mix cigarette ash with cigarette ash and which brands of cigarettes give more valuable raw materials, the addresses and phone numbers of reception points were transmitted under great secrecy.
The most popular version was the use of ash for the production of medicines - therefore, cans and matchboxes began to be carried to pharmacies, each time inevitably meeting the amazed glances of pharmacists.
Cigarette ash was not used to make medicines or fertilizers. In reality, no industry has ever needed such a kind of raw material. It was not possible to find out who became the author of the "duck" and, probably, will never succeed. However, before firmly moving into the category of urban legends, the idea of collecting the contents of ashtrays for a long time occupied the minds of young people and adolescents who needed easy money, and adults did not lag behind, carefully shaking ash from cigarette butts into a previously prepared container. At the same time, very few asked the question - if the industry needs ash so much, isn't it easier to burn tobacco right away
Tobacco ash is almost weightless, and to fill a three-liter can, you will need to empty a myriad of ashtrays or smoke an incompatible number of cigarettes.
The task turned out to be not as simple as it seemed at first, so the population gradually abandoned attempts to literally make money on the dust. In addition, almost all those who were fired up with the idea recalled an acquaintance of acquaintances who got rich at the delivery of the ashes - but no one could ever name specific names like that, since they did not exist.
Later, revelations began to appear in the press and on the network - allegedly fraudsters were disguised as points of purchase of the ashes, demanding from everyone who wanted to hand over the raw material small sums as a future reward - of course, only in order to make sure that the ashes were being handed over by an adult capable person. Having collected a decent amount, the scammers disappeared, leaving naive fellow citizens with banks of useless ash. These messages were not confirmed either, but the number of those wishing to sell the ash quickly diminished, and offers to buy it disappeared altogether. Nowadays they rarely try to get rid of the ashes by selling them - the story of how the whole country accumulated dust in the hope of getting rich is often told as an urban legend or a funny story.