Serving Our Peers and Community • South High Community School • Worcester, MA

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The Colonel Chronicle

The Colonel Chronicle

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South’s Trash Problem


Recently, I spent a while in the hospital. Coming back to South, I noticed something: South feels a lot like a hospital. The wide, blank halls, with a spot of just enough color to make them not completely boring. The identical layout of every floor, and the huge, empty lobby. But there was one big difference that made it feel like I wasn’t just back in the hospital. The hospital is a perfectly sanitary and sterile environment. South High’s halls are anything but. Half-eaten food on the window sills, plastic zip-lock bags lining the floors, even chip bags in the water bubbler. Just to show how much trash there really is, I spent some time walking on every floor and taking photos of the trash. I did this twice. Keeping in mind I only took photos of maybe half of every instance of trash I saw, I took 51 photos of unique pieces of garbage strewn across the school’s halls. Here is a gallery with just some of the photos:

This is an absurd amount of trash. Sure, we’ll always have litter in the halls, but this much trash over one day is just too much.

But how can we fix this problem? I think a good start would be to actually have trash cans in the halls. While there are trash cans in the bathrooms, and in classes, no one walking in the halls is going to want to interrupt a class or go into a bathroom (which is not really allowed anyway) just to throw something out, which I think is understandable. So, we need to have trash cans in the halls. I understand the counter-argument to this: if we have trash cans in the halls, people are going to tip them over. Honestly though, for a school that cost 209 million dollars, I think we could have implemented trash cans that can’t be easily tipped. I don’t think it would actually be that much of an issue anyways. I’m sure there would still be trash in the halls, but I believe that most South students are not litterers, and if there were easily accessible trash cans in the halls, most people would use them.

Not only is the litter in the halls gross, it’s a safety issue as well. Slipping on a piece of trash on the stairs, especially the big stairs in the lobby, could really hurt someone. Slipping on a piece of trash during the daily dismissal stampede could get you trampled. Both of these are very real situations that could happen, and I don’t think anyone wants that to happen to them, and I really don’t think the school wants that to happen to anyone.

If the school wants to decrease the amount of litter in the halls, so our school is safer and less disgusting, they need to do something to actually fix it.

The litter is not the only trash-related problems that this school has though.

We have recycling bins! Clearly marked recycling bins, in fact. And yet, as far as I can find out, both of these bins go into the exact same dumpster at the end of the day. It doesn’t seem right to be having recycling bins that are just going to landfill anyway. However, I know that no one really puts just recycling in the recycling bins in class. Therefore, I think it’d be a lot better if we had, instead of two tiny, constantly over-filled trash cans, we had one, larger trash can in every classroom. But to be honest, I don’t really expect the school to actually replace every trash can.

To be clear, I think the custodial staff are doing a great job. Every day I walk into school, it’s perfectly clean, and I understand that adding more trash cans will make their work more difficult. However, this isn’t just some problem we can throw away, it needs to be addressed.

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