After a typical Thursday night on a college campus, like Cabrini, the sight of excess trash is common. Does anyone ever stop to think about who has to clean that mess up? The custodial staff of the college works day and night, seven days per week in order to keep a clean atmosphere for students, faculty, staff and visitors.
The director of facilities, Howard Holden, oversees approximately 20 custodial workers employed by the college. According to Holden, six additional trash containers were placed outside residence halls, but with the impending weather, the effect of these dumpsters is not yet accurately known.
A trash hauling service comes through our campus on a daily basis. The New Residence Hall has a trash chute where students drop their trash into a 12-yard trash compactor. This particular trash storage is emptied three times per week. The open trash bins that used to be outside each of the houses were all removed because of squirrels climbing in and removing the trash, dragging it through campus. In place of these bins, two-yard dumpsters were placed in the parking lot on Residential Boulevard in front of each house.
Woodcrest and Xavier trash containers each hold six to eight-yards of trash and are hauled daily by the custodial staff. The apartment complex holds an eight-yard dumpster in its back parking lot where students and custodial staff dump trash.
Depending on when student events are held, trash can exceed what Holden referred to as an “average” trash stream. “Some houses are, at times, trashed.” With a chuckle, he added, “Thursday evenings usually produce a fair amount of trash.” Because of this, Holden feels that “students can be somewhat careless” when it comes to properly discarding their trash.
Perhaps the reason that some students may not properly discard their trash is because for the houses, the trash dumpster is down the hill in the parking lot, taking up much-needed parking spaces.
With ice and snow on the ground, who wants to risk breaking a leg venturing down a steep hill to throw away their trash? When the trash hauling service comes through the campus, they’ll pick it up, right? Wrong.
Holden pointed out that the most disturbing thing is the occasional insensitivity toward custodial workers. “Certain behaviors exhibited clearly violate respect for fellow man. More appreciation should be shown for the custodians’ thoughts and feelings because it’s not an easy job.”
The job of the custodians does not stop at the residence halls. The rest of the buildings on campus need just as much work as the residence halls. Some workers are here until the “wee hours of the night” preparing classrooms for 8:15s the following morning. And they cannot forget about the administrative offices either, not to mention bathrooms throughout the various buildings.
On the weekends, the number of working custodians is less, due to the fact that classes are not in session, but their work does not become any less challenging.
Holden emphasized that if students or faculty feel that they are not receiving adequate service from the custodial staff, do not confront the custodians. Instead, they should feel free to call him at ext. 8240 to voice complaints.