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How excess Litter is putting the Pace Campus in Danger

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How excess Litter is putting the Pace Campus in Danger

Litter on the Pace campus has gotten excessive.

Litter on the Pace campus has gotten excessive.

Christina Bubba

Litter on the Pace campus has gotten excessive.

Christina Bubba

Christina Bubba

Litter on the Pace campus has gotten excessive.

Christina Bubba, Feature Editor

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Pace’s Pleasantville campus is known and admired for its beautiful suburban landscape. The Choate Pond, farm, and Nature Center are just a few highlights Pace is proud to represent. However, residents are jeopardizing the campus’s natural charm with excess litter that is scattered around the land. Pace’s Facilities and Capital Projects employees can be seen trash-picking on campus, but their efforts do not match the lack of effort put forth by the student community.

“Although the litter on the ground is most noticeable, the litter that gets into the creek and Choate Pond are probably the most impactful,” Michael Finewood, assistant professor of Environmental Studies and Science, said. “Especially plastic.”

If the excessive litter persists on campus, the entire campus community will suffer. Accumulated waste can affect the health and mental well-being of Pace residents.

“If we think of our campus community as an ecosystem, litter can impact the health and well-being of every species it comes in contact with,” Finewood said. “It can pollute waterways, constrain plant grown, and if animals ingest it, they often die.”

Attempts have been made in the past by student organizations to maintain this issue with unsuccessful results. One of the oldest student organizations, NATURE, was founded to advocate for the environment and wildlife. The outdoor recycling bins that are placed around campus were petitioned for by NATURE club four years ago. President of the club, Timothy Martinez, is disappointed with the outcome of the project.

“There is no way to force people to use [the recycling bins] more,” Martinez said. “There are recycling bins right outside [the Townhouses] and they still choose to toss trash on the ground.”

NATURE club hosts Fit Trail clean-up days each semester in hopes of eliminating the garbage and attract students to utilize the hiking trail more often. The last clean-up day was during the Fall 2018 semester, with only 7-10 student volunteers. The club promises to host another clean-up day this semester. Martinez would like to focus on the Fit Trail and more problematic areas around campus, such as the Townhouses.

Martinez is concerned that the Fit Trail will soon be removed if the issue of litter and lack of interest persists. He believes that people do not use it because parts of it are overgrown and covered in trash.

“A lot of us actually like that trail,” Martinez said. “It’s beautiful, nice, and relaxing when you go up there.”

Finewood does not think that these problems can be reversed but there are ways to improve the conditions. His advice to students on keeping a clean campus is to pick up garbage, to reduce the amount of trash generated, and to avoid single-use plastics.

“Pace Pleasantville is a perfect campus to develop initiatives in water management, green infrastructure, renewable energy, ethical food consumption, and waste reduction,” Finewood said. “But students need to put pressure on their leaders to make it happen… if enough students ask for it, the university will make it happen.”

To see a change, passionate students need to take a stand and advocate for a clean campus.

“This is where we live, so it would be nice to help clean up our own campus; this is our home,” Martinez said.

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About the Contributor
Christina Bubba, Feature Editor

I am a junior Digital Journalism major with a minor in Public Relations. On campus, I am Feature Editor of the Pace Chronicle, a part of the Cheerleading...

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