Resident Complains About Bus Driver Littering

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COLUMBIA- A resident who lives near the First Student bus lot in northeast Columbia told KOMU 8 Wednesday she believes school bus drivers are throwing garbage on her lawn. Barb Griffin lives right behind the First Student lot, so a fence is the only thing that separates her from the buses.

Griffin said she noticed the garbage because she has a guide dog and has to constantly take him outside. She says it really got to be a problem when her dog started eating the trash, which resulted in vet visits. Griffin said she has been to the vet two times this past year and pays about $100, if not more, every time. Griffin said she is on welfare.

Local First Student representatives refused to speak to KOMU 8, but spokesperson Maureen Richmond in Cincinnati agreed this is a problem and said that the company does not want to be a bad neighbor to anyone. Richmond also said it was hard for her to automatically jump to the conclusion that a driver was throwing garbage over the fence because she said the company has a raccoon problem in the area.

Richmond said bus drivers are supposed to follow cleaning regimens everyday to ensure a littering problem like this does not happen.

"When the drivers enter the lot, they will empty their trash if applicable, then they would drive to the back part of the lot and park the bus there. So there should be no reason since they are driving right past a larger dumpster for any shenanigans."

Richmond said the company has very strict littering policies and if drivers did litter or break any type of rule, they would go through a disciplinary process.

"We do do progressive discipline so you would have a write up, a council with your manager, and then, depending on the infraction and the frequency or severity, certainly it could result in termination."

Richmond said while First Student doesn't have video surveillance, it will tell drivers about the concern and respond accordingly. Richmond said if these measure do not stop the problem, she said the company would call pest control and try to take care of the problem.

Griffin said until the problem is gone, she will have to start walking her dog in an area farther from her house, but more importantly, from the fence.