Everett’s Littering Problem

When walking the halls of Everett, it’s common to find snack wrappers and styrofoam cups discarded to the floor. Walking outside is no different; a constant barrage of Mcdonalds bags floating in the wind like tumbleweeds from the Old West. 

These areas aren’t the only places that are victim to littering.

“It’s especially bad in the bathrooms. You see a lot of people who use paper towel and  chuck it wherever,” said Everett alumni Brittney Pratt.

Just like the bathrooms, the lunchroom is littered with what is provided. Every day, trays of food are left on tables, with the occasional spill hazard of milk or nachos.

“I think students are distracted and aren’t thinking about it,” said principal Jaime Gundrum. “They leave stuff behind thinking it’s someone else’s responsibility.” 

Some have said that the reason this has been a problem is the inaction of the staff.

“I see kids litter all the time in front of teachers,” said junior Leasia Langston.

Perhaps teachers are unaware if there are any policies, just like the students. In fact, even the principal isn’t sure either. 

“I don’t think we have a set policy, other than we encourage students to clean up after themselves,” said Gundrum.

A notable criticism is the lack of consequences.

“Not a lot of kids being reprimanded,” Pratt said. “If there’s nothing to help correct it, then the problem is not being addressed.”

Some said that setting punishments would help detract students from littering. Gundrum agrees.

“If someone is intentionally making a mess, I think providing community service would be an appropriate consequence,” she said.

Many in the school show sympathy for the custodians. The task to clean up after a school with a population of over 1,700 can be a grueling one, especially since part of their daily routine is cleaning after breakfast and lunch. 

“I don’t think there’s very many of them, but they do what they can,” sophomore Mya Clark said.

The custodians are employed by SodexoMAGIC, the same company that provides the food service. When asked, the workers declined to an interview. A phone message and email requesting comment from management were unanswered.

Langston says that students need to start the change.

“We should get a better sense and actually throw our trash away,” she said. “You guys are disgusting! There’s trash cans for a reason.”

Additionally, Clark sums up issue.

“People really care about the school, but they’re not doing their part to make it look the best it can,” she explained. “They want all this remodeling; how are you supposed to take care of that when we can’t take care of what we have now?”

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