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Neighbor says Dollar General’s trash jeopardizing family’s health

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA21) -- A Fort Wayne woman tells us she's fed up with a neighbor whose trash consistently blows into her yard -- bags full of it.

But this is no ordinary neighbor.

When you look at the Dollar General on Decatur Road on the city's southeast side, it looks like any other business.

But walk around back on Jacqueline Barnes' property, and you see this.

"I can't keep up with the amount of trash that comes over here," she says.

Barnes has lived next door for six years, and says the situation keeps getting worse.

"It's not health or safe for my family, especially my two-year-old daughter. The gloves, the cardboard boxes, the plastic that's stuck in the trees," she sighs.

Trash is strewn across Dollar General's back yard on Decatur Road.

She says every week, she carefully fills at least two large garbage bags with trash from next door, trash she says presents a real risk to her and her family.

"It's scary. I have to be very cautious when I come out here to pick up trash. I wear gloves, I have to make sure I'm don't cross-contaminate, obviously keep my hands washed. I feel very uneasy and sick to my stomach while I'm having to do this," she says.

Barnes says she's contacted everyone she can think of to try to get the situation resolved.

"I've contacted the department of health, I've contacted corporate at Dollar General, I've spoke with employees at the store in the past, and nothing's been done," Barnes says.

She says there used to be a Dollar General fence along the property line but it fell down and hasn't been replaced, so she tried to take matters into her own hands.

"Last year I contacted multiple companies to give me a quote for a fence, and we currently can't afford to do it," Barnes says.

She says she'd like a wooden fence to be put up so she and her family not only don't have to deal with trash blowing into their yard, they also wouldn't have to see it.

She'd also like the company to hire someone to pick up all the garbage on its property that could be a prime breeding ground for rats and other pests.

We reached out to Dollar General's corporate office in Tennessee for comment and received one that says, "Dollar General is committed to providing a clean, pleasant environment for our customers and employees.

"In line with this commitment, we are taking immediate action to address exterior store standard issues that were not reflective of our expectations.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we look forward to continuing to serve our Fort Wayne customers."

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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