Harwood is not your trash can

Janitorial jobs are challenging. I am speaking from experience as a janitor at a cafe for 3 months. It was definitely on a smaller scale than cleaning a whole school. not to mention the numerous schools for which our maintenance staff is responsible.

The cafe had its changes from day to day, and it was hard being the only person responsible for the appearance of the cafe and how the cafe’s customers would see the business.


Trash, nice people, and a problem. 

Harwood has recently had a significant problem with being trashed and disrespected in the last few months. Vandalism and the bathrooms being flooded have progressed to students leaving trash everywhere. Everyone enjoys coming back from the break to clean classrooms and wax floors, but who does that all summer? The maintenance team, made up of hardworking, kind individuals, is in charge of cleaning the school, keeping the grounds looking nice, and helping students have a good atmosphere to learn in. Some of the tasks our janitorial staff does at Harwood are cleaning bathrooms, cleaning floors and rugs, taking out trash and recycling, and cleaning tables in the study spaces. 

They work through the day and then clean when students leave for sports practices. Ariana Clark shared her thoughts on being an NHS member who has been in the process of putting up a poster in the high school wing about Harwood being like Rainbow Road. She stated, “However, I am of the belief that if we had more spaces in which to throw things away, less would end up on the ground.” As students, I think if this problem were emphasized, students would change their behavior and have more respect for the school’s hard-working staff. 


One step at a time

At one point as we sat in the senior cafe, Arianna brought up the state of the Senior cafe that day. Students have been leaving trash on the floor and food crumbs on the tables. “Whatever the reason seems to be, the lunch spaces are the places where we tend to leave a mess, even though it is where trash is most accessible.” The area where your receptacles are the most accessible is the place where people refuse to clean up after themselves. Even now, there is trash underneath my feet that I’ll often have to sweep. It’s ridiculous!” Students are constantly making the same choices of trashing the school’s halls and study spaces. Students could be more thoughtful and not leave trash, in the lunchroom especially, and take a second to clean up after themselves when there are trash cans a few feet away. Everyone can pitch in and we can solve this problem. No one likes nasty tables when they are trying to eat lunch, or kicking someone’s grape that fell off their plate as they walk to the Senior Cafe. It is disrespectful, and as students, we spend a lot of time in classrooms. During lunch times students could be more productive to make sure they don’t make a mess or leave trash at the table or on the floor.