The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Portola High’s Littering Issue is a Ca-“trash”-trophe

Raising+awareness+about+the+littering+issues+at+Portola+High+will+help+students+become+more+proactive+in+throwing+away+their+trash+and+creating+a+pristine+campus.+%E2%80%9CEveryone+else+has+to+do+their+part+in+maintaining+a+clean%2C+organized+environment%2C%E2%80%9D+freshman+Claire+Liu+said.+%E2%80%9CAnd+when+people+dont+do+that%2C+its+just+really+upsetting.%E2%80%9D
Kayley Winata
Raising awareness about the littering issues at Portola High will help students become more proactive in throwing away their trash and creating a pristine campus. “Everyone else has to do their part in maintaining a clean, organized environment,” freshman Claire Liu said. “And when people don’t do that, it’s just really upsetting.”

“On a scale of one to 10, I’d say it’s a nine.”

This is what Custodian Mark Leavy said regarding Portola High students’ littering problem, with 10 being the most severe. Trash is everywhere: bathrooms, planters, stairs and more, according to Leavy.

As the student population increases, so does the trash problem at Portola High— although less so than other schools, according to assistant principal James Coney. To help incentivize people to pick up trash, Portola High students who are proactive in holding others accountable when trash is not thrown away should be rewarded by staff who oversee break and lunch with the newly introduced PBIS Act Positively tickets. This will ultimately foster a cleaner environment and decrease unnecessary stress for teachers and custodians.

Littering is an everyday occurrence that could be easily rectified if students were more proactive about picking up their trash, according to Coney.

“The way I look at this, if we have 2500 students plus over 100 staff, if everyone just picked up one piece of trash every day, there’ll be no trash on this campus,” Coney said. “Some people have the belief that our custodians are here to clean up after them. But again, this is not a fancy restaurant where someone’s going to come and pick up everything.”

Litter additionally causes problems for custodians, whose responsibilities consist of cleaning rooms, helping with maintenance and keeping the campus secure instead of picking up students’ trash, according to Leavy.

“It makes the job much harder because the school gets very dirty,” Leavy said. “A lot of kids don’t pick up after themselves and leave trash, which causes a lot of problems with rodents and overall cleanliness. It’d be much more helpful if they use the trash cans provided around the campus.”

Despite the abundance of trash cans that are available around campus, custodians must spend additional time picking up trash that students fail to throw away. This takes away from the time needed for them to fully devote themselves to their intended responsibilities.

Students do not take responsibility for their trash for several underlying reasons, according to freshman Claire Liu.

“There are some moments where you just feel like you’re just too lazy, or somebody else is going to pick up after you,” Liu said. “But in reality, that’s not the case. And you’re just making the problem worse for everyone.”

Students at Portola High often underestimate the true issue of littering on campus because of the hard work of our custodial staff. Holding people who litter accountable for their actions and educating fellow peers will significantly contribute to reducing the amount of waste present. By encouraging and rewarding students with the new Act Positively Tickets, students and staff alike will benefit from the decreased amount of litter on campus.

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About the Contributors
Sonia Wang, Assistant Features Editor
Sonia Wang is the Assistant Features Editor and also a Business Team member returning for her second year on the Portola Pilot. She is excited to edit articles and work with new members of the Pilot. Outside of writing, you can find her reading a fantasy or sci-fi book, listening to music, or desperately trying to finish her homework.
Kayley Winata, Staff Writer
Kayley Winata is a staff writer for her first year on the Portola Pilot. She is looking forward to getting to know and working with fellow Pilot members. Outside of the classroom, you can find her listening to an excessive amount of music and crying about not having spotify premium while adding useless pictures onto her Pinterest boards.
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