AMERICAN FORK, Utah — Students, parents and faculty of Shelley Elementary returned to school from the holiday break and found a big mess on their campus.
The school’s recycling bins, which the public is allowed to use, were overflowing with cardboard boxes and trash. Some items were strewn across the parking lot.
“Apparently everybody had a really great Christmas, but it still doesn’t justify leaving your trash the size of the dumpster,” said Sydney Finch, a mother of three children at the school. “I was disappointed. I was disgusted.”
The school earns a few hundred dollars a year from its recycling program. Community members are invited to leave their recyclables in the bins, but anything that doesn't fit and is left outside only creates a big headache.
“We love our community, we love recycling,” said Principal Matthew Goebel. “If it’s done right, it does benefit everybody.”
But when it isn’t done right, the mess is left for the school to clean up. This time, a member of the PTA did the job.
“I’d love to not be taxing the PTA and my custodial staff with things like that,” Goebel said.
He hopes in the future, if people find their items can’t fit in the bins, they'll take them home and return when space is available.
Parents believe it’s common sense to refrain from leaving garbage for someone else to handle.
“It’s not the truck drivers problem, it’s not the school’s problem, it’s your responsibility to take care of your own trash,” Finch said. “This is where my kids play at recess.”