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Greece couple's battle with litter continues after citation

(WHAM photo)

Greece, N.Y. (13WHAM) - Robert and Ann Dobson have lived in the same house in Greece for more than 50 years. In fact, the road they live on is even named after them. They've watched the neighborhood change over time, but now they're facing a new situation.

The couple was cited by the Town of Greece for not cleaning litter from their yard.

It's been an ongoing problem over the years, but the citation surprised the couple who, along with volunteers, try to keep the yard clean.

"What do you do? We're almost to the point of just giving up," said Ann Dobson.

The couple says most of the trash comes from the Northgate Plaza area across the street. Next door, trash constantly blows through a vacant lot. The owners of that property were also cited over the trash.

"It never stops. You pick it up, and a week later you got the same amount back out there again," said Robert Dobson. "And if you get any strong windstorms, it's even worse."

Robert says he does his best to keep a clean yard. But that's getting harder to do with the amount of litter blowing in their yard.

"Certainly, we want to have a nice looking yard, but it's pretty hard to when you have to go out there once a week and clean things up," said Robert Dobson.

The town acknowledges the trash isn't coming from the vacant lot or the Dobsons. But, it's still on the Dobsons to keep their yard clean.

"It's really frustrating because the town knows that all this junk comes from across the street, the plaza," said Robert. "And yet they had the gull to issue a citation, telling you to clean up your yard."

The owners of the vacant lot next door put up a temporary fence to help block the trash, but it's a band-aid at best for the overall problem.

On Friday, even after a thorough Thursday clean, the Dobsons' yard was mostly cleared. But in the vacant lot and brush separating the properties, loads litter scattered all over.

With the right wind direction, its next stop might be the Dobson's yard, which they'll try and keep cleaned.

"Is there a solution? We've thought of different things, but how do you stop it," said Ann.

Paul Mousso, the Director of Technical Services for the Town of Greece, told 13WHAM the town is addressing the issue.

Mousso said the town has been in contact with nearby Walmart, as well as other property owners, in order to try and lessen the amount of litter blowing into the Dobson's yard.

Some examples of that include trash pickup by nearby businesses and locking down dumpsters to keep trash contained.

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