The Trash Problem: Possible Solutions and How You can Help

Imagine this: you walk into the cafeteria and just have a normal lunch with your friends or by yourself. You were the last one to get up from your seat. Mostly everyone had left by now and you had to hurry to get back to class. As you were walking out, you noticed an apple on the floor. You saw something like this 2 days in a row. You then looked behind you and finally took notice of how much trash there is on the ground.


The increasing amount of trash in the cafeteria is a huge problem that could cost the school hundreds of dollars if we don’t do something about it. Not only does this problem affect the custodians in a huge way by physical means, but also the trash will attract bugs. If we are unlucky, we could see rats or mice, then snakes.


I have made 3 possible solutions to this problem, and I will show how YOU can help our school solve this problem or at least decrease the severity.


More Trash Cans:

The first solution is having more trash cans around the cafeteria to give students more places to dump their trash. Even though there isn’t a lack of trash cans, students aren’t throwing away their trash. If we have more trash cans closer to tables more towards the middle of the cafeteria, perhaps that could give students more of an opportunity to throw away their trash. The problem is with more trash cans comes more money to spend on trash bags. Also, the trash cans could also cost a lot of money.


Trash Boxes:

The second solution to this problem is having small boxes at each table to act like mini trash cans. This is a cheaper way to try and address the problem. This solution could not only give students more access to trash, but students won’t have to leave their seats. This could possibly decrease the workload for the custodians, since all they would have to do is pick up the box, dump the trash in the trash cans, and put them back at the tables. This would be a really great solution, but there’s a few catches. Students could steal, break, or throw the boxes, which can cause a huge mess.


Student “Helpers”:

The third solution to this problem is having the messiest students stay back for 5 minutes to help the custodians clean up. This would encourage students to clean after themselves and to keep the cafeteria neat. If this solution were to go into practice, LCHS would have to dismiss tables one by one to see if anyone made a mess that they didn’t clean up. If one person makes a mess and he/she didn’t clean it up, the whole table stays to help the custodians. The problem is that this isn’t allowed by the county to my knowledge. Also students could miss out on something in class.


How You Can Help:

There are a few things you can do to help contribute to stop the trash problem. Make sure you look around your area and see if there’s any trash or pieces of food on the floor. If there is, pick them up. If there is a spill, you should grab paper towels and wipe them down. You can also grab the Student Broom and Dustpan to help clean other areas if you have time (special thanks to PEER for purchasing this). If it isn’t available, get some paper towels and try to pick up any food or trash on the ground that you see.


I hope that you will take this situation seriously. This problem will continue to grow until we do something about it. Let’s hope that the school won’t call the exterminator…