Property owner and store dispute responsibility over trash - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Property owner and store dispute responsibility over plastic bags

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KENNEWICK, Wash. -- Plastic bags on the ground are a common site, but a dispute between a property owner and a large grocery store is heating up.

"It's not our problem, all we're asking is for WinCo to be a good neighbor," says John Wesse, who's land is covered with litter including plastic bags from the store.

He's tired of the plastic bags that are covering trees and land he owns and he wants answers,"Garbage blows across the street and here it is, right here behind me, it blows over our whole property, and this is just two weeks worth of garbage, at this point."

In the search for a solution, Wesse constructed this fence all around his property in the hopes it would stop the bags from collecting on it, but with the bags still there, he now wants WinCo to offer a lot more than lip-service

"They need a six foot chain linked fence around their property and stop their own garbage and do their own maintenance, "says Wesse.

WinCo has been working with Wesse to fix the issue by sending their employees out to the land to pick up the trash. But management bluntly claims to place all the blame for the trash on the company is just wrong.

"When we go over and police it, there's things from pizzerias and other businesses totally unrelated to us or anything we sell,so it's really a community issue more than it is a specific WinCo issue," explains Mike Read of WinCO.

"It's impossible when you're dealing with a 24 hour national chain store that has a restaurant inside," contends Wesse, who has been dealing with debris since he purchased the property in 2004.

For now, Wesse will continue to pick up the bags, but is talking with a lawyer to pursue other options. City code enforcement officers say if there's trash on your property, you're responsible for it. But they do investigate complaints for violations.

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