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Marshall’s Law

by Archives October 18, 2006

I don’t know why I noticed it. I walk the same path a dozen times a week, but it just caught my attention that evening. As I walked through the deserted G-Lounge at the Loyola campus, all I could notice was how dirty it was.

Empty soda bottles, candy wrappers, paper plates, and the list goes on. At least half of the tables were covered with litter. And there wasn’t a single student in sight.

Why is it so hard for people to throw away their trash? Sporadic arm paralysis? A deep seated fear of touching empty Coke bottles? Or perhaps it is a more primal instinct.

As dogs pee to mark their territory, are humans inherently predisposed to mark their own by leaving their trash lying around? Maybe it is an evolutionary trait. Scientists will soon reveal to us the curious ritual of the mighty Cro-Magnon who regularly left a Snickers wrapper outside of his cave to mark his territory. I know for a fact this isn’t just happening at Loyola. Oh, what a treat it was to walk into the H-620 classroom at Sir George and have to clean up where I wanted to sit because someone couldn’t bother throwing out his or her empty coffee cup. Walking into a classroom with trash lying around on desks isn’t a pretty sight. But there I go again with my own slanted view of cleanliness I guess.

While we’re on the subject of litter, we should take a moment here to congratulate the university on their recycling initiatives. Too often in public institutions, there is a lack of recycling bins but our university has made sure that next to most indoor garbage cans are the ever obvious blue recycling bins. Blue boxes equal recycling. Easy enough, right?

So why do I constantly see them stuffed with trash? Do we all have really bad aim? Or maybe it’s just a subconscious way to rebel against the system. Who needs the Anarchist Party when we can all just stick it to “the man” by throwing away our empty Doritos bags in a blue box. Unfortunately, trash is everywhere these days.

We can complain about how the city isn’t dealing with the problem. We can criticize G

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