The overabundance of trash causes overflowing trash bins


Will Baker

Cardboard trash bins have been added in recent days, positioned next to existing trash bins near the Golden Eagle.

When walking to classes or going to grab a bite to eat, many people expect a clean place to enjoy a meal. What many didn’t expect is overflowing trash cans with garbage spilling out onto the floor. 

Since Cal State LA’s fall semester started, an overabundance of trash near the food court, Sabarros, and Carl’s Jr. have been seen by many University Times reporters and students.

One of the facility worker’s tasks is to travel around campus, picking up trash and having it properly cleaned out.

For garbage collectors, they need to have experience for at least one year of working in a university or high school and also a year of working experience with equipment like power tools. 

Kirby Williams, a facilities general manager for the university, addressed the problem with trash, explaining that it was fairly normal last semester. 

“There is no trash generally during the first couple of weeks, however, the trash around the food court gets pretty heavy. Then, it kind of balances out. As the classes balance out, we always gear up for it,” Williams said. 

He explained that employees get in their carts and head to most, if not all, trash cans and clean them up. 

One of the issues for trash being overfilled was the fact that most of the employees who clean out trash have been absent from work, either on sick days or unable to work that day/week, according to Williams.

“In the department, we have over 120 employees; that varies from shop to shop,” Williams said. “It varies as far as who calls out sick that day. So we just cover until that person returns, usually a day or two, sometimes, a week.”

Students have also noticed and spoken up about the issue. 

Ethan Estrada, a marketing major, comes to eat in the food court area and nearly every time he comes to the area, there is trash all around the cans.

Estrada thinks the trash overflow is due to the majority of classes being in-person, with more students appearing on campus than normal.

“When campus first started a couple of weeks ago, it was very packed compared to last semester or last year,” Estrada said.

Leo Morales, a graphic design major, also echoed that. 

“I feel like a lot of students are on campus now,” he said. 

If students leave trash around or it becomes overfilled it, can cause hazardous effects on people. It also can leak out and will not only pollute water but soil. 

Not only that, but the smell can attract rodents and bugs to the area, making it a campus where there are animals roaming around.

There are also ways to prevent this from happening. 

One of the suggestions that both students interviewed said was adding more trash cans. 

“Right now, we are adding additional cans,” Williams said.  “Basically, we’re trying to capture it and not put any burden on the students…  generally around the Golden Eagle area or anywhere there’s a heavy amount of students.”

Morales thinks students have a role in this, too.

“If you see that a trashcan is already starting to get filled up, maybe don’t force it into the trash can,” Morales said. “Eventually, you will find another trash can.”

Another possible solution is to hire more workers.

“I feel like the campus should hire more people; it creates more job opportunities,” Estrada said. “Plus, it will be a faster and [more] efficient way to clean the campus.” 

Beyond Williams’ comments, university officials could not be reached, despite multiple attempts.