Council moves forward plans to charge Northampton supermarkets for abandoned trolleys

If the scheme progresses, it is hoped the fine will force supermarkets to clean up abandoned trolleys
If the scheme progresses, it is hoped the fine will force supermarkets to clean up abandoned trolleys

Abandoned shopping trolleys are causing such an ‘eyesore’ in the community that supermarkets could soon be charged by the council for the cost of collecting them.

Northampton Borough Council has agreed to investigate whether it should use legal powers available to it to more ‘effectively tackle the problem’ by charging supermarkets for each trolley it collects.

It comes after an ‘increasing number of reports’ of abandoned trolleys, which the authority also says has the potential to cause accidents.

A motion was originally put forward by cabinet member for the environment Mike Hallam, which called for a £50 charge to be implemented in January for ‘any trolley found on land in open air or on watercourses’.

However, it was amended to require officers to prepare a report so that the council’s cabinet can make a decision on whether to introduce such a charge throughout the entire borough, and if so, what amount the charge should be set at.

The amended motion, which was then agreed by councillors on Monday at The Guildhall, reads: “Although many of local supermarkets try to take effective action to prevent the abandonment of shopping trolleys, it is too often the case that they do not act quickly enough on reports received.

“This set charge would be solely to recover the cost of collecting a shopping trolley that is found by an NBC authorised officer on ‘any land in the open air’ (including watercourses), and that appears to them to be abandoned.

“Abandoned trolleys are a real nuisance and NBC is hoping that if such a scheme is created, rather than paying fees, supermarkets will take more responsibility for collecting their trolleys and, consequently, help reduce the number of such incidents.”

The council would have to consult with supermarkets and any other shops that supply shopping trolleys to the public before it could progress with the scheme.