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Garbage cans abound, but trash around MHS persists

Remains of students lunches are left on lawns near Montclair High School, residents say.
Photo courtesy of Andrea S.
Remains of students’ lunches are left on lawns near Montclair High School, residents say.

Garbage cans circulate throughout the school. In every classroom and bathroom, they are strategically placed throughout the outside campus. Although there are many receptacles in Montclair High School, perhaps it’s time to question the true extent to which they are used.

 Residents around MHS say they have noticed frequent trash dumping from teenagers’ cars onto nearby residents’ homes. This has typically been on Midland, Park and Chestnut Streets, although it does not eliminate other streets in the high school’s vicinity that fall victim to littering.

Nearby resident Christina Joseph Robinson lives about two blocks away from the school and has experienced high schoolers dumping trash on her property numerous times.

“The amount of trash I’ve picked up over the years is ridiculous,” Robinson said. “This morning I noticed another MHS student get out of their car and toss their entire breakfast on the ground in front of my house.”

This garbage dumping epidemic doesn’t stop with just one resident. Andrea S. has experienced litter on her property as well.

“A young lady emptied all her old Starbucks cups out of her car and lined them up on the sidewalk before driving away,” she said, “Just walk up and down Midland near Chestnut. There is always trash.”

In fact, there is a garbage can promptly on the corner of Chestnut where the high school is located, not even a 5 minute walk from where waste is left on sidewalks and houses. 

Residents say problems of garbage disposal are not new. One former resident, who asked to be identified as JNM, lived in the area from 2007 to 2020 and experienced it as well.

“Yes! There is so much litter,” she said. This problem has existed for at least the last four to five years, she maintained.

To advocate for more awareness and to lessen littering, Robinson said she made multiple attempts to end the disrespect of other people’s properties. Meanwhile, Montclair High School maintains many garbage cans around the school’s perimeter, but if students are not using these containers then the problem persists.

“The school hasn’t done anything, but to be honest I’ve probably only sent a couple of emails over many years. I did ask the town a couple of times for trash cans along the lunch route to Valley Road, but it didn’t go anywhere,” Robinson said. Instead, it’s time to address the root of the issue, not just placing more trash cans or enforcing more rules, she said.

 “I’d like to appeal to my fellow parents to reinforce these expectations,” Robinson said. “We are all citizens of this town and should treat it respectfully no matter what neighborhood.”

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Sofia Higgins
Sofia Higgins, Staff Writer
Sofia Higgins is a senior at MHS. She loves cats and has a passion for psychology. She was born in London and loves to travel internationally. She loves Drake and Taylor Swift but listens to a variety of music. When she isn't writing for the Mountaineer, she's practicing her barista latte art at her job.

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