Plan to tackle growing number of abandoned trolleys

Pushed too far: Abandoned shopping trolleys illegally dumped in Woniora Road last week. Pictures: Rae Fletcher
Pushed too far: Abandoned shopping trolleys illegally dumped in Woniora Road last week. Pictures: Rae Fletcher

They're an eyesore and pose safety risks to pedestrians and motorists and now Georges River Council is looking to force supermarkets do deal with the issue of abandoned shopping trolleys.

All shopping centres in the local government area would be required to have coin-operated or wheel-locking shopping trolleys, under a council proposal.

This is one of a number of measures expected to be endorsed this month by the council to tackle the increasing problem of dumped trolleys.

"With increases in urban density the abandonment of shopping trolleys has increased significantly and is now a major community concern resulting in numerous complaints to council," a report by Georges River Council staff said.

Other measures to be considered by the council include the requirement for coin-operated or wheel-locking shopping trolleys as part of all development applications for new or upgraded shopping centres.

The council will seek changes to the NSW Impounding Act to regulate abandoned shopping trolleys similar to those recently introduced to address abandoned share bikes which sees a fine of $500 and a court penalty of $2750 for an abandoned shared bicycle.

Retailers will also be asked to develop a policy for retrieval of abandoned trolleys.

And the council will start a community education campaign - to be supported by retailers - to educate the community that dumping trolleys is illegal.

A report containing these measures will go to the September meeting of Georges River Council.

A resident of the Georges River LGA, Rae Fletcher last week sent the Leader a collection of photos of abandoned shopping trolleys in Hurstville.

"High time council took stern action- supermarkets are not taking this seriously- common sight around 12-14 Woniora Rd," Ms Fletcher said.

"Trolleys are Hurstville 's version of the problem the inner city had with dockless bikes."

Abandoned shopping trolleys pose a safety risk to pedestrians and motorists, according to a report by the council's Environment and Planning staff.

And there is a potential liability for owners of abandoned trolleys.

"The council has recently contacted retailers who use shopping trolleys to seek their support to keep trollerys from entering public land and improve retrieval of abandoned trolleys," according to the council report.

"Aldi is the only retailer that fits all of their shopping trolleys, using a coin operated system, to prevent them from being removed from shopping centres.

"Coles has three stores within the LGA.

"At Coles Oatley West, Coles trolleys are contained by using a wheel-lock system.

"Coles at Hurstville Station has a coin-operated lock on its trolleys to stop customers from removing them from the car park.

"There is no system attached to trolleys from Coles Westfields which uses a trolleys collection system to retrieval trolleys from public land.

"Woolworths relies on a trolley collection service to retrieve trolleys from public land for all of its stores within the LGA."

A recent survey conducted by council rangers of abandoned shopping trolleys on public land within the Hurstville and Kogarah CBDs identified the least number of trolleys belonged to Aldi.

"This confirms that an on-premises containment approach is effective in preventing the dumping of shopping trolleys," the report said.

"There is no legislative requirement for retailers to install on-premises containment system on their trolleys.

"Any decision to do so in voluntary on behalf of the retailer."

Both Coles and Woolworths have met with the council and said they are prepared to install one of the on-premises options to control the removal of trolleys.

The council is still awaiting a response from Westfields, the report said.