March 1, 2024

Trash was physically overflowing off the sidewalks and into the streets following this year’s Homecoming Weekend. As I walked into the Torch office early Sunday morning, I was shocked to see the amount of trash, particularly beer bottles and cans, strewn about.
One of the most striking images on my walk from Keller to the Student Center were six Rolling Rock bottles in a messy pile in front of the Gamma Phi Beta house, appearing as if someone needed to get rid of evidence, so they dumped it in a pile.
On a typical walk around campus, I can find a few pieces of trash here and there: someone’s old paper plate, a crushed Natty Lite can or a lost paper from class. But there is only one word for the amount of trash left following Homecoming Weekend: disgusting.
I get it, a lot of us are underage and don’t want to get caught with anything illegal on them. That, however, does not mean that you can just throw your empty beer bottles and cans in someone’s yard to get rid of it.
In particular, Wittenberg just put into place a stricter trash ordinance for upperclassmen living in houses and apartments, meaning that students can get fined for trash on their yards if not cleaned up in a timely fashion. So, those empty cans you just threw into someone’s yard? They can get fined for that.
The most important aspect of this issue is that it is just plain wrong to be throwing your garbage, whether it’s beer bottles or anything else, onto the streets or into someone’s yard. There are a million trashcans all around campus, as well as dumpsters, so take the extra two steps and put it into the garbage can. I’m sure students would rather you throw it in their garbage can than in their yard.
Physical Plant and Wittenberg’s housekeeping services can only do so much for students living outside of dorms. It’s up to us to keep the streets and the yards of our peers clean. So, please, next time you think about throwing your trash into someone’s yard, hold onto it until you can actually find a garbage can. It not only makes us look better as a campus, but it helps the environment as well.
It was a good thing that many alumni didn’t make it as far onto my side of campus on Sunday morning, because I think they would have been greatly disappointed by the lack of respect shown to our beautiful campus. And if the alums were responsible for making some of this trash, as I’m sure they had a part in the abundance of trash left behind, then shame on them.
Maybe now someone will take a walk along the streets and clean up after the ginormous messes that others have left, because none of us can be bothered to clean up after ourselves in the first place.

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