Hidden waste plagues Belmont’s parks


Kylie Lin

Despite efforts to keep Belameda Park clean, trash can still be found on the premises.

Kylie Lin, Scotlight Editor-in-Chief

For the most part, the city of Belmont excels at keeping parks trash-free for its numerous residents, but parks in Belmont are not as clean as they appear to be.

For example, to combat littering within the confines of Belameda Park — the park right next to the Belmont Library — a staff member from the library monitors students and children after school hours.

Kayla Marie Figard, the Teen Services Librarian at the Belmont Library, said, “After school, they walk around the building and also outside of the library to make sure that teens and children are picking up their trash.”

No system is infallible, however, and waste sneaks its way into parks nonetheless.

When sophomore Tori Vega visits Belmont parks, she recalled noticing trash in unsuspecting areas. Most prominently, Vega noticed waste such as granola bar wrappers under bushes and cigarette butts beneath tanbark in various parks.

“Usually, I don’t notice any of the trash unless I look really closely,” said Vega. “Still, there’s trash hidden underneath the bushes, like someone stuffed it under there.”

At the end of last school year, Carlmont received a complaint from a nine-year-old Belmont resident who noticed a “lot of trash at Belameda Park,” requesting that students take care not to leave any more trash.

“[The parks] are alright, I’m not going to say that they’re always clean,” said William Castro-Ramirez, a junior. “There are always cases when you find the occasional bag of chips.”

The general consensus among Carlmont students is that parks in Belmont are, at least in appearance, clean. Vega also believes, however, that they could benefit from more attention to cleanliness when being used.

“I think that people do a pretty good job of making the parks look clean, but sometimes, if you look closely, it’s like: ‘Oh, people could probably do a little more,’” said Vega.

Whether litterers are Carlmont students or just Belmont residents, Castro-Ramirez says that the majority of park visitors are not to blame for any littering that occurs.

“People are pretty responsible,” said Castro-Ramirez. “There’s just those few people that ruin it for everyone else.”