Tale of the lost trolleys: Campaign launched to bring them home

Every day around Australia, hundreds of shopping trolleys are taken away from their supermarket homes, left lost and open to the elements.

But a campaign launched on Thursday will look to lead the way to change, after more than 200 abandoned shopping trolleys were found in an Adelaide suburb in just four days.

Trolleys have been found in waterways, outside apartment blocks, on football ovals and on footpaths, and an Adelaide mayor believes something needs to change.

The idea of introducing a gold-coin system or GPS tracking has been discussed, but shoppers have been urged to just “do the right thing”.

Campaign to rid streets of dumped trolleys
The City of Marion Council in Adelaide has launched a campaign to rally against the issue, which it described as “an eyesore and hazard” across South Australia.

Mayor Kris Hanna said the launch included an unveiling of more than 230 trolleys which had been collected around the Westfield Marion and Castle Plaza shopping centre in just four days.

“It’s not just a problem confined to Marion, but affects every street and every suburb around shopping centres in Adelaide,” he said.

lost trolleys and carts

Abandoned trolleys are considered litter under the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016 and penalties of up to $5,000 can apply.

Mr Hanna said the cost associated with collecting dumped trolleys needed to be considered by “irresponsible shoppers”.

“When you think of the hours of staff time involved in that, they are people who should be out trimming verges, looking after reserves, repaving roads and all that sort of thing,” he said.

“Because of irresponsible shoppers leaving these trolleys all over the streets, we’ve got our staff collecting them and then giving them back to retailers.

“Some of the retailers are taking the responsibility but clearly they’re not doing a great job — so we need to get proper allocation of responsibility for this.

“Clearly there are irresponsible shoppers, but also the retailers have a responsibility for their trolleys.

“They certainly don’t want thousands of dollars worth of trolleys sitting out on the suburban streets.

“We want to try and work out a solution that is better than council ratepayers funding staff to go and pick up trolleys to give them back to retailers.”

illegal dumping trolleys

He said dumping trolleys was illegal and unnecessary and the awareness campaign would include posters, signs, fridge magnets and a dedicated Facebook page, urging people to do the right thing.

“In addition to asking our community to report abandoned trolleys, we will look at actions which have succeeded interstate,” he said.

“There’s obviously more going on than just people walking home with their shopping — there are probably quite a few people being mischievous with these trolleys as well.

“Various solutions have been tried around the country … a gold coin operated trolley system, ideas of GPS tracking of trolleys — there are options to talk about but we certainly have to do something better than we are at the moment.”

LGA supportive of council initiative
The Local Government Association of South Australia has thrown its support behind the Adelaide initiative — with executive director Lisa Teburea suggesting a collaborative effort.

“A collaborative effort between councils, retailers and the community is needed to properly address this issue, and this campaign is a positive step in the process,” she said.

“Abandoned shopping trolleys are an issue for many communities, creating public safety issues, causing general nuisance, and detracting from local amenity.

“The LGA worked with the Government to give greater powers to councils to tackle illegal dumping — including shopping trolleys — through the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016.

“Under this Act, shopping trolleys that are discarded or abandoned away from their originating retail precinct are a form of litter, and authorized council officers can expiate anyone they observe dumping shopping trolleys.”

Confusion over abandoned trolleys in Port Augusta

lost trolleys and carts

The issue has stemmed into regional parts of South Australia as well with Port Augusta locals expressing their disgust and confusion over large numbers of abandoned trolleys in the water, visible from the wharf.

One social media post described the trolleys as ‘revolting and unsafe’, while another said it was ‘disrespectful’.

Mayor Sam Johnson said the council was seeking a meeting with supermarkets to discuss removing the trolleys and the situation was unfortunate.

“Some people, for whatever reason, see it kind of cool, fun or fit, whatever is in their mind to launch a trolley into the Gulf, unfortunately,” he said.

“Is it ideal? No, it’s not. Do we need to get an outcome? Yeah, we do.”

In a statement, Coles said it was doing significant work to address the issue.

It said that included regular collections of the trolleys throughout the week.

Woolworths said most of its customers did the right thing with trolleys.

Written by Camron Slessor | Source

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