The Human Rights Monument in downtown Ottawa has become a dumping ground for the lunchtime crowd, littered with food wrappers and other garbage.

"I think it's gross, it's a human rights monument," said Alyson Rhynold, who sometimes eats lunch at the monument, located on Elgin Street.

Rhynold says the monument has become a popular place for the lunchtime crowd, including city hall staff, employees at the Elgin Street courthouse and high school students from nearby Lisgar Collegiate Institute.

"There's not much dignity in garbage being on the human rights monument. It doesn't say much about dignity for human rights," said Rhynold.

But some say part of the problem is the placement of garbage cans in the area.

Lisgar high school student Greg Vorquez says he thinks garbage cans need to be place in more convenient locations. He says as it stands now, it's easy for many people to toss their trash on the ground.

"(It's a) lazy thought, but you kind of have to get up," said Vorquez.

It's not the first time a monument in the capital has grabbed headlines.

Veterans were outraged last July when a Canadian war memorial dedicated to Korean War veterans was desecrated and smeared with human feces.

The National War Memorial on Elgin Street was also in the news when three young men were photographed urinating on the monument in the summer of 2006.

In terms of trash at the Human Rights Monument, Coun. Clive Doucet says the garbage needs to be cleaned up.

"It's a well-used, well-loved monument and needs to be taken better care of," said Doucet.

The city has already hired a contract worker to clean up the trash.

"It should be controlled better. It needs more garbage cans maybe," the worker told CTV Ottawa.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr