Two student volunteers drop bags of litter off at Belk Plaza station. Photo by Alexandria Sands.

One hundred and five pounds of trash were collected in Belk Plaza on April 12 as volunteers, who spent their day picking up litter on campus and dropped off their trash bags one by one.

The Campus Cleanup event is a UNC Charlotte tradition that occurs during Earth Month. Over 60 students, faculty and staff volunteered for extra credit, community service hours or just to help beautify the campus.

Two stations were set up, one in Belk Plaza and the other by Motorsports Lab, where volunteers could get their plastic gloves and trash grabbers. Groups were sent out with one bag for trash and another for recycling.

Main focuses on campus included Hechenbleikner Lake and the surrounding area, which has seen an increase in litter due to the construction from Levine Hall.

“This place is pretty nice but you’re always going to find something, so I wasn’t surprised [that there was litter],” said Senior Gualberto Portela Da Rosa, one of the students who picked up the most trash in the area surrounding Memorial Hall. “Hopefully more people will come out and do this, not just for the extra credit that the teachers are giving, just because they want to do it. If you got some free time, come out here and pull your weight.”

A lot of what was picked up included cigarettes and small scraps, according to University Sustainability Coordinator Tyler Systma.

“If you see trash on the ground, just pick it up because it’s easily accessible to just to reach out and pick it up,” said Freshman Alexes McNeill, who volunteered in the wooded area between the Student Union and Oak Hall.

Volunteers received free t-shirts, food and drinks.

Campus Cleanup is part of a series of events held during Earth Month, hosted by University Sustainability, which is part of the Facilities Management Department in the Division for Business Affairs.

Events include Earth Day Festival on April 19 and others that you can find at

Alexandria Sands is the Niner Times' community editor. She is a senior majoring in Communication Studies with a double minor in Journalism and English. Her work has been published in Charlotte magazine, The Charlotte Business Journal, Creative Loafing, The Gaston Gazette, The Shelby Star and The State Port Pilot. When she's not in the newsroom, you can catch her reading a book at her home in Oak Island. Reach her at or @alexsands_.