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Anti-littering poster

Clean Slate

Clark College begins the year with a new anti-littering campaign

With growing enrollment, Clark College’s new influx of students have brought all sorts of benefits to the campus: their enthusiasm, their curiosity, their diversity. But there’s one other thing they’ve brought with them that many community members wish they hadn’t: their trash.

“With a lot more students, there’s a lot more litter—it’s as simple as that,” sighed Grounds Manager Skip Jimerson. “We walk around the parking lot every morning and we pick up a whole bag full of trash. And lately it’s been more like a bag and a half—and that’s six people doing that, so a bag and a half multiplied by six.”

The college has taken steps to alleviate the problem. It’s set up cigarette-butt receptacles at corners where smokers congregate. Facilities staff has striven to keep the grounds clean. After all, Clark College takes great pride in the beauty of its main campus and in all of its locations.

Unfortunately, littering continues to be a problem. So the college is launching a fresh effort to encourage students, faculty, and staff to take personal responsibility for their actions and demonstrate pride in their college. The goal: to remind people not to throw debris -- especially cigarette butts but also including food wrappers, paper, cans, bottles, or other trash -- onto the grounds at Clark College.

This initiative joins Clark's Healthy Penguin Nation, "green" (sustainability) programs, Earth Day programs, service learning and more. It's starting with new signs that you'll spot at all Clark location (see image). Other potential elements include new trash and cigarette receptacles, student outreach during the first day of each quarter, and “college cleanup” volunteer days.

Noting that Clark College is located in Vancouver’s Central Park, Health Services Officer Mary Deal, who sits on the task force, said, “It’s about being a good neighbor.”

If you’re interested in participating in these efforts, contact Rebecca Wale, Associate Director of Employee Development and Environmental Health and Safety at the Teaching and Learning Center, at rwale@clark.edu or by phone at x2251.

But any member of the Clark College community can help, just by being aware of the problem.

“They can model good behavior,” said Vice President of Administrative Services Bob Williamson, also on the task force. “They can remind students not to litter. We have staff who are smokers and they put their cigarette butts in the proper container.”

Every little bit helps—no ifs, ands, or “butts”!

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