Eye of the Editors: Trash on Campus

It’s quite undeniable. As Diamond Bar High School students, we are attending a top-notch school, one that ranks among the finest high schools in the nation. Academic excellence, artistic talents, riveting school spirit—you name it, DBHS has it all. Or so we were convinced.

Recently, a tragic flaw to our seemingly faultless reputation has surfaced, an issue that our school has unfortunately failed to address and resolve for years—the ever-present trash. Take a good look around at the end of lunch. The radiant campus of our distinguished school has quickly transformed into a large garbage dump. Who is to blame, you ask? You guessed it—the very students and our careless attitude toward preserving our campus.

Students have developed an intolerable habit of simply leaving lunch trays behind after they have finished eating, instead of disposing them in the trash cans that are placed throughout the campus. You’ve probably witnessed this too: the countless incidents in which students would accidentally drop a food item, or shoot for and miss the trash can, then find it perfectly normal to leave the scene without feeling a tinge of guilt.

Whether it is out of laziness or because of some level of entitlement, the growing tendency to avoid properly disposing waste has become an all-too-frustrating issue for the handful of responsible students, many staff members, and most especially, our custodians.

Some students may argue that leaving trash around the campus is not a significant problem because there are janitors to clean up after them. This attitude is not only highly insolent, but also erroneous to a large degree. Our janitors often remain at school until late at night, making sure that every classroom is properly maintained and that gates are locked by a certain time. When school clubs and organizations hold events and activities that cause a large mess, they have to spend additional hours cleaning up. With a large enough burden on their backs, custodians cannot, let alone be expected to, pick up after every irresponsible student at school.

This blatant trash problem has been so severe that some administrators have found it necessary to constantly badger students about their responsibilities. Principal Catherine Real made announcements over the intercom several times already in the past weeks before the lunch ended, instructing students to pick up their trash before they leave for class. Moreover, she notified many club advisors and staff members, requesting that clubs, sports, or other groups on campus volunteer to pick up trash toward the end of lunch.

Students must realize how shameful and embarrassing it is to have come to a state in which the principal has to personally inform the entire student body to clean up their trash. Picking up the lunch tray, walking but a few steps to the nearest trash can to dispose of one’s own trash is no difficult task. Furthermore, this task is not some unreasonable request. Students are simply being asked to hold themselves accountable and to stop relying on others to take the responsibility.

DBHS is a school of much dignity and excellence. We must show respect to the campus we represent. This is our home. This is our pride.

So the next time you see a peer indifferently walking away without having disposed of his or her trash, don’t be afraid to give a quick reminder. With that one simple notice, you are inciting a positive change to end this preposterous madness.