Addressing Shepherd’s Litter Problem

Shepherd University has a litter problem, and it needs to be addressed by both students and faculty alike. I walk through campus nearly every day. When I do, I always come across abundant amounts of trash lying on the ground.

This not only angers me but it also perplexes me as there are a multitude of trash cans placed seemingly everywhere around campus. However, bottles, papers, wrappers, food, cigarette butts and other varieties of garbage can still be found strewn upon the ground.

There is no excuse for this litter that can commonly be seen next to buildings, on the lawn, on sidewalks and throughout the parking lots, especially in E Lot adjacent to Thatcher Hall. Shepherd maintenance workers should not be expected to pick up people’s careless litter. As students of this university, we need to take it upon ourselves to respect the place at which we live, work and study. This can be embodied in the age-old saying, “don’t crap where you eat.”

Shepherd University is like a second home to me and many other students. So, I would subsequently like to ask the litter bugs I am addressing this to, would you just throw your trash onto the front lawn of your home? I doubt it. In my humble opinion, littering is the result of laziness. Moreover, I find it to be disrespectful and simply put, dumb.

“I feel that Shepherd does have a littering problem. There are many places throughout campus where students can throw out their trash but I think some are too lazy to do so,” Ryan, a sophomore at Shepherd, said.

“I always see trash lying on the ground no matter where I go on campus. Some people need to learn how to throw away their garbage I suppose,” Kristian, a freshman at Shepherd, said.

Littering is clearly detrimental to the environment as a whole. We live in an age where global warming is quickly becoming a reality. The planet is constantly under attack from human activity and pollution. When you throw a piece of trash on the ground, you may find it to be insignificant. However, every piece of trash adds up.

Additionally, littering also has a negative impact on the appearance of the university. Visitors and potential students may be discouraged by the amount of litter and trash found on the campus.

What can be done to help prevent littering at Shepherd University? I would argue there are plenty of trash cans positioned around campus,  although I feel it would only be beneficial for the university to invest in more of them and situate them in places where there are high rates of litter. This is a relatively low-cost option, and it would be easy to implement.

More importantly, I would encourage the university, the student government organization and other appropriate student groups to begin instituting new campaigns and programs that encourage people not to litter. Flyers, posters and other advertisements asking students to avoid littering should be placed around campus.

Groups of volunteers should be organized on a regular basis to come to the campus and collect litter. In addition, students must do their part by simply throwing away their garbage in the appropriate places. Encourage others not to litter. If you see a friend throwing a piece of trash on the ground, kindly ask them to pick it up and throw it away in a trash can.

This is an issue Shepherd must take seriously. If the appropriate steps are taken, it can be corrected. Shepherd University is an important place to me and many others. Let’s treat it with the respect it deserves.

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