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Students must be responsible for trash

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Walking across the Oval, I can’t help but notice how clean it is. Students are constantly out in the spring with papers, water bottles and food wrappers, yet campus is nearly spotless. Cross High Street, however, and it’s another story.
Near off-campus student housing, the sidewalks sparkle from broken beer bottles (I’m a fan of the bright blue Bud Light Platinum bottle shards), Columbus’s homeless can make a few dollars off cans strewn across lawns. Remnants of last night’s rager are all over the surrounding yards, sidewalks and streets.
Who should be held responsible for cleaning up the mess? There are three possibilities: the city, the landlords or the students.
Having the city clean up the mess every week would be costly, which is probably why they only have an annual spring clean-up crew that is volunteer-based, according to the Department of Public Service for the City of Columbus.
The landlords own the properties, and the responsibilities for building maintenance and property maintenance vary among realtors. Oxford Realty and University Manors, among others, have a policy to charge students who leave trash on the property or not in the proper receptacle. However, most companies do not have anything about trash pickup on their websites for current tenants, and my guess is most do not follow through with the charges unless the litter does damage to the property.
If students were responsible for trash pickup (which some appear to be, but just don’t care), would they actually do it? My guess is that many students just don’t care that their yards look straight out of “Animal House.” The lack of responsibility and respect for the things they are borrowing, and those who live around them, is astonishing.
In my opinion, the streets near the off-campus area would be a lot cleaner if students were actually held responsible for the messes they make. The city could make a lot of money issuing tickets to renters who have unsightly properties, and it would probably help cut down on the amount of litter in the area. Nobody wants to pay a fine over picking up a yard full of plastic cups.
Especially in this heat, all this garbage is literally rotting, stinking up alleyways and front yards alike. Food wrappers, beer cans, plastic cups and torn garbage bags litter the streets near campus. The broken glass is dangerous, especially for students with pets (or those without a decent pair of closed-toed walking shoes). Driving down the narrower streets involves weaving in and out of tipped garbage cans and large debris that has been thrown into the street.
Compared to the immaculately manicured campus, the off-campus area looks like a dump, and it reflects poorly on the entire community – not just the students who threw the party.
 

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