Retailers in Cardiff could face £75 charge for dumped shopping trolleys
Supermarkets could be charged £75 for every abandoned shopping trolley found in Cardiff according to plans to be approved by Cardiff Council.
In the Abandoned Shopping Trolley policy to be presented to Council members this week, the authority said there had been an increase in the number of dumped trolleys in the city during the last 12 months following the introduction of the 5p carrier bag charge in Wales in 2011.
Currently, shopping trolleys legally remain the responsibility of the supermarket. Any trolley collected by the Council cannot be sent for recycling or disposal without an individual destruction certificate from the specific retailer.
Under current rules, the Council is obliged to keep abandoned trolleys for a period of six weeks, after which time they can be sold for reuse, recycled or disposed of.
The new proposals will enable the Council’s Waste Education & Enforcement team to serve a formal notice on the owners of dumped trolleys and charge them a £75 fee to cover the return or disposal costs for each trolley. The notice will include information regarding the location of where a trolley is being stored and that the Council can dispose of it if it is not claimed within six weeks.
Council executive member for environment, Ashley Govier, told Wales Online: "The taking of shop trolleys is theft and we condemn this behaviour.
"Once dumped, these trolleys are unsightly and bring a rundown feeling to an area which in turn attracts further litter and fly-tipping as well as encouraging anti-social behaviour. Abandoned shopping trolleys can also harm wildlife and if dumped in a stream or river they can also create a flood hazard.
"With this policy, we will be working with retailers to ensure they take greater ownership of their trolleys and take action if they don’t, thereby improving the visual appearance of an area, reducing waste and litter and its associated antisocial behaviour.
"We will also work with the stores to explore theft-prevention measures and get the message out that stealing trolleys is unacceptable and illegal."
The move has been criticised by the Welsh Retail Consortium which accused the Council of "blaming the victim".
Mark Ross, director of WRC, said to Wales Online: "It’s like saying shops cause shoplifting by having shelves of goods.
"A trolley can cost a retailer £150 to buy – they don’t want them stolen. Usually if anyone calls a store’s customer service line the retailer will go and collect the trolley. Retailers actually have a good record on working with local authorities to prevent theft and recover stolen trolleys."
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