Throw Away Bad Habits Along With Your Trash


Photo by Sofia Williamson

Students often leave trash after lunch for the building services crew to clean up.

By Sofia Williamson, Production Editor

Let’s talk trash.

At CHS, there seems to be a prominent problem that no one is talking about, in which students lack the character to properly dispose of their trash.

After lunch, it is impossible for a student to walk to sixth period without encountering leftover food and wrappers on the floor, but the students who are responsible for the waste seem to have little regard for the already difficult workloads of the CHS Building Services Department or the amount of perfectly clean, wasted food.

Due to students’ laziness, security and the administration have established rules regarding where students can sit at lunch. Signs tell students that they are not permitted to sit on the building’s second floor during the lunch block, primarily due to the trash load. There are also hallways on the first floor that are blocked off to students for lunch.

Because students seem to repeatedly leave their trash from lunch on the floor, these rules are reasonable. However, about a third of the entire student body still sits on the second floor during their lunch block and blatantly ignores the rules.

Now, Building Services must wait until lunch is over to travel around the whole school cleaning up after lunch.

It takes students less than a minute to throw away their trash when they are done eating; however, it takes maintenance an entire 45-minute class period to dispose of the trash leftover all over the school by 1,500 students, not counting the seniors that leave school grounds for lunch and the majority of juniors that reside in the cafeteria.

It’s important to also be aware of the amount of clean, whole food that is left on the floors, only to be thrown away.

According to the Community Food Rescue, every year in Montgomery County 246,000 tons, or 23 percent of the community’s solid waste is food.

Because the vast majority of the CHS community has virtually unlimited access to food, and therefore is obviously economically advantaged in comparison to other MCPS schools, students take advantage of their resources and leave uneaten food on the building’s floors or throw them away without a second thought.

According to Montgomery County’s Community Food Rescue, in comparison, an average 35 percent of all children in MCPS schools qualify for reduced meals.

Just because most CHS students have access to lunch foods, it does not give them the right to waste it. Instead, students should save their food for later, or give it to someone else.

Simply encouraging students will not fix the problem. Administration could charge groups of students with lunch detention in the cafeteria for leaving their trash on the floor, because without taking drastic action the students will repeat the same behaviors.

With penalties for leaving trash on the floor, as well as an equal ratio of trash cans to recycling bins in accessible places, we would see a serious, necessary change in the disposal of food waste at CHS.

Donation boxes could also be organized in the hallways for uneaten and non perishable foods during lunch in order to put less food to waste.

However, it is up to students to decide for themselves what type of person they will be. Will they be the type of person who forces Building Services to take time out of their long day to dispose of students’ trash, and waste perfectly clean food? Or will they be the type of person who, at the end of lunch, properly disposes of his or her trash and saves his or her uneaten food for later on?