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NH Homeowner Given 10 Days to Clean Up Thousands of Printers, Boxes From Yard

The Salem health inspector said property owner Michael Bates was removing cartridges from printers to make money and left the rest sitting on his lawn

Much to the delight of residents in one New Hampshire neighborhood, a Raymond homeowner has been ordered by a judge to pick up thousands of printers and boxes that are littering his yard.

The owner of the Maclarnon Road home must pick up the trash within 10 days or let the town take over.

For the last 60 years, neighbor Bob Gaumond has loved looking out the window over his kitchen sink. But not anymore.

"I never could've imagined that happening. Never," Gaumond told NBC10 Boston Tuesday referencing all the garbage in his neighbor's yard. "It's terrible."

Last spring, Gaumond watched as several shipments of printers were dropped off at the home.

Salem Health Inspector Brian Lockard says the property owner, Michael Bates, was removing the cartridges and selling them off as a way to make money. It was initially a zoning violation for running a business out of a residence, but when Bates failed to remove the 2,000 leftover printers, it became a health violation.

Lockard says he hasn't seen anything like it in 30 years.

"Never 2,000 boxes of printers, yeah, it's very unusual," he said.

The case went to court, and this week, a judge ordered Bates to clean it all up or else the town will have the right to do it.

NBC10 Boston tried to reach Bates for comment, but he never responded.

Lockard says cleanup could cost upwards of $18,000 and Bates likely doesn't have it.

"He's very apologetic, very nice, but he just doesn't appear to have to resources," Lockard said.

For the Callahan kids who live right next door, they'll have to deal with it through April vacation week, but their mom is hoping the next time her kids are home from school, the printers won't be a problem.

"Come summer, hopefully it will be cleaned up and we can enjoy our backyard again," said Nicole Callahan.

Gaumond is looking forward to it, too.

"I'm just grateful and happy," he said.

If Bates doesn't comply within those 10 days, the town will hire a contractor and cleanup the property.

Bates will still be responsible for the bill.

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