Who cleans up at Kroger?
by Jeff Mortimer
When a west side resident stopped by the donation boxes at the edge of the Westgate Kroger parking lot one morning in December to drop off a bag of clothing, the prospect was appalling. The gully between the lot and Maple Road was packed with refuse, including at least one automobile tire. It looked like an exposed landfill.
A call to the Community Standards Unit of the Ann Arbor Police Department revealed that no one else had complained about it. An email to Kroger spokesperson Dale Hollandsworth went unanswered. A second message, five days later, did get a response: the area had been cleaned up within twenty-four hours of the first message.
Hollandsworth indicated in a subsequent phone conversation that the accumulation wasn't that unusual. "It kind of comes and goes," he said. "The same young people that get the [shopping] carts off the lot ... patrol the area and [clean] it as needed. Sometimes it gets a little heavier."
When it does, Hollandsworth says, "it should be taken up with the store manager, absolutely. I would strongly encourage that."
[Originally published in February, 2014.]