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Students search for ways to eliminate trash in lake

April 3, 1997

Jennifer Paschal / The Baylor Lariat

Despite the recent rains, the Baylor Marina still shows a large amounts of debris in on its empty banks.

By Lori Lenarduzzi

Lariat Reporter

Along with lower water levels of Lake Brazos, significant amounts of litter in the waterways have become more evident.

Water levels have been lower because the low water dam has experienced a malfunction of one of its gates, Sandy Test, municipal information officer for the City of Waco, said. The city is trying to have the dam repaired.

For several weeks, Lake Brazos was high due to heavy rains. When this occurs, litter that has been picked up on land from the rain has a tendency to linger in the water, Test said. In recent weeks, when water levels have been lower due to the malfunction of the dam, litter has been more prevalent than it would be under normal conditions.

'If people were more careful about disposing of their trash, we would see less litter in times when water levels are lower,' Test said.

Students in the Environmental Concern Organization (ECO) on campus have seen more litter lately and have thought of some solutions to remedy this problem.

Sarah Cowell, a Hutchinson, Kan., senior and president of ECO, said that the organization is presently preparing for Earth Week, which will take place April 15 through April 18. ECO is also planning some campus and community clean-ups the week before.

'We want to build an awareness for students to focus on better ways to dispose of litter and to encourage them to recycle,' Cowell said. 'We can't regulate what students do with their trash, but we hope they'll become more aware of what they are doing with it so we can limit waste on and off campus.'

Some issues that students recognize as problems are the shortage of trash cans and the apathy of people to seek them out to properly dispose of their trash.

'There should be more trash cans and recycling bins on campus,' Cowell said. 'The more convenient we make it for students to throw away their trash, the more likely they will be to do it.'

Fara O'Neal, a Bend, Ore., junior, said she thought there were enough trash cans but not enough people using them.

'I feel that as a campus, we need to be more aware of the litter we produce,' O'Neal said. 'Each student needs to realize that there are trash cans all around campus they can use.'

The marina is one place near campus where students have seen a more evident problem with litter. Valerie Miller, a Dallas junior and treasurer of ECO, said that students should take more time to pick up after themselves.

'I think a lot of the litter around the marina is being washed up from the river,' Miller said. 'But adding more trash cans and some recycle bins would probably help the problem with the other litter.'

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