Trash Awareness Day

Updated: Apr 10, 2019

Students and teachers volunteered to help clean up the trash all around Valley College.

By Gabriel Arizon, Co-Editor-in-Chief

The Valley Star/Gabriel Arizon

Thirty Valley College students and faculty joined together this past Tuesday in an effort to help clean up some of the trash that littered the campus.

The ASU hosted Trash Awareness Day on Nov. 6, bringing together several students and staff to assist in cleaning up the hidden trash scattered around Valley. The event was organized by ASU Commissioner of Campus and Environmental Concerns Eddie Kaufman-Morrow, who had the idea for it back in August.

“Hopefully we create change and we create some sort of awareness for the other students to see that we do care,” Kaufman said.

The volunteers were divided into three groups that each covered an area of the campus: the northwest section from the library to the Child Development Center, the southwest section from the Administration and Career Advancement Building to the Allied Health and Science Center and the east section that covered the gyms.

After roughly an hour of gathering trash, the volunteers made their way back to the Skybox Conference Room, where they were treated to free food. In total, 30.4 pounds of trash were collected, with the most coming from the southwest section at 12 pounds. Kaufman, who went to the northwest section, found that most of the trash his group collected – particularly cigarette butts – was around the parking structure near the Student Union Building.

Claudia Hasenhüttl, an assistant professor who teaches geography, had her lab class participate in the event in exchange for extra credit.

“Though it is generally folks who are already aware of what trash does to the environment who are participating in these events,” Professor Hasenhüttl said, “there are always some who are helping in a community clean-up for the first time. It is often quite an eye-opener for them to see just how much trash accumulates.”

“We all go here. We all spend a big portion of our week here,” Adolfo Reyes said, a student of Hasenhüttl. “The least we could do is take care of where we go.”

Despite a high turnout, Kaufman hopes to get even more volunteers in the future.

“Hopefully I can give out some prizes for the group who got more trash than the other,” Kaufman said. “Maybe I can make it competitive in the future. We definitely want to be able to get it on TV at some point.”

According to CalRecycle, California landfilled or exported for landfill 35.2 million tons of trash in 2016, plus an additional 7.4 million tons of “disposal-related” materials. This puts the disposal rate at 6 pounds per resident per day in the state.

The next Trash Awareness Day will take place on Dec. 18 from 1 to 2 p.m. To join, go to the Skybox Conference Room located on the second floor of the Student Union Building.