Keeping Keene clean

Citizens, students and grounds crew help keep the city clean

The City of Keene and Keene State College have resources regarding trash and littering in Keene.

Photo illustration by Angelique Inchierca

Photo illustration by Angelique Inchierca

According to the National Conference of State Legislature, the New Hampshire law regarding littering is “Imprisonment up to one year and fine up to $2,000; or at courts discretion conviction may require time spent cleaning the area where littering occured.”

Unlike most New England states, New Hampshire does not have a law regarding required recycling. On campus, there are several workers who are a part of the KSC Grounds Crew that pick up trash on campus and try to make the campus look nice. Assistant Director of Physical Plant-Grounds Bud Winsor said the process starts every morning, when each of the workers have a portion of campus they walk through and clean. Windsor said he finds a lot of littering from beer cans, cigarettes, wrappers and more. “Some people throw their trash out the window… it is a matter of self respect for the place that you are living in,” Winsor said. Winsor said there is a littering and trash problem in the city of Keene.

Winsor said the crew is busy with litter from the wintertime and they become twice as busy once the snow melts and more trash is revealed.

Grounds crew worker Travis Ellsworth said it is important for students and staff to be able to walk to class and not have to see trash on the ground. “We could have the school looking beautiful but if there is one beer can laying on the ground than that is the first thing that will be noticed,” Ellsworth said.

Winsor said a major part of the grounds crew job is cleaning up trash that is thrown on the  ground.

One organization on campus attempts to make the campus more recycle friendly by collecting all recyclable and compost materials on campus. President of Recycling on Campus Keene State (ROCKS) Matt Bacon said the program teaches students about the use of transfer stations. Transfer stations are places that collect most waste and landfill, it is then brought to be disposed in a healthy way. The nearest transfer station to campus is on Route 12 according to Bacon. Bacon said keeping the city clean is a matter of self respect as the city is not only a place of home for many, but also a place where many have businesses. One step forward ROCKS has made to involve more students in recycling is placing indoor recycle bins in every residence hall. “The new recycling restructure is to make it easier for students to be able to recycle,” said Bacon.

Grounds crew member Joe Britton said it is a tough job to face every day but it is important for our school and home to look clean. Britton said that during large events such as graduation or spring carnival they try to clean and be noticeable to students while the event is going on in hopes that they will be more mindful of what they are doing with their trash.

City of Keene Housing Inspector and member of code enforcement Joel Fedorowicz said that his job is to enforce housing and property standards in the city of Keene. Fedorowicz said that people in the city are good about cleaning up after themselves and not having waste that could be hazardous. Fedorowicz said a lot of the code enforcement job is educating tenants and landlords about the importance of keeping the city clean and not having trash pile up. “A big aspect of keeping the city clean is respecting your neighbors. You could have a family with children next door to a multi-family apartment,” Fedorowicz said.

Colby Dudal can be contacted at

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