An average shopping trolley coasts around $150, and some can climb as high as $600 when modifications or additions are made.
So beside being an increasing cost issue, shopping trolleys, when abandoned, are also a safety problem and an environmental hazard.
The problem is increasing and there is a dilemma as to how to stop it.
Many supermarkets have introduced the token or coin system to encourage people to return the trolleys and get their coin / token back. These are reasonably effective but the problem is still increasing.
A council in New South Wales has joined other councils around the country, by introducing a bylaw which allows Council Officers to impose an on the spot fine of $110 to a person if they abandon a trolley in the street.
The government of the Australian Capital Territory recently enacted a law that allows local councils to have “Trolley Collection Days” and inform the retailers in their area that they will pay a fine, of $190 per trolley, if any of their trolleys are not collected within 24 hours of that day.
This law also allows councils to fine large retailers for not keeping their trolleys within their property unless it can be shown that the business is taking steps to do so. It goes further and lets Councils impose a fine of $60 on any person not following a Council Officer direction to return a trolley to a shop.
It is not only penalties and fines that are being used to encourage people to do the right thing, The large retailers have also introduced schemes that will reward people for informing them of any abandoned trolleys.
It is estimated that trolley maintenance, replacement and retrieval costs around $50million a year. This is a cost that is passed directly back to all of us in food and other product prices. It is not difficult to take that little extra time to just do the right thing and to ensure that we teach our children to do it as well.