Did you ever drive by Newbury Elementary and wonder what the 12’ “trash tower” in front was all about? As of May, it is officially gone, but the trash tower was started as a public “living art” project in 2014 by local artist and teacher Carol Baum to help bring awareness to and change people’s behavior towards littering. Students from Whittier High School, Triton High School and Newbury Elementary all assisted in turning Carol’s idea for the project into a reality. The bulletin board that stood next to the “trash tower” was filled with information about how long it would take for the trash collected by Carol to decompose, and also provided space for public comment. In the beginning of the project, students from NES would assist Carol in loading the trash she collected each week from her daily walk into the tower which helped serve as a visual reminder about protecting the environment.
Carol continued collecting trash around the NES area for the last 5 years filling up the tower nearly two-thirds. It was truly shocking to see how much trash was collected from one small walking route. Unfortunately, as trash filled the tower, the structure started to list during the winter months prompting the project’s completion. But, what if it isn’t over? What if now, we as a Triton community carry forth Carol’s mission every day? What if when we are outside, in a parking lot, on the street, at the fields, we pick up one piece of trash and dispose of it properly? What if we become living “trash towers,” picking up our neighborhoods and towns and making a difference each day? Let’s join together to continue Carol’s mission for our world, cleaning it up, spreading the simple message of “don’t litter” to make our community a better place! Thank you Carol for your years of commitment to this project and for making a difference in our community!