Council urges supermarkets to do more to tackle dumped shopping trolleys

Telford & Wrekin Council has urged local supermarkets to up their game after it was reported that over 800 shopping trolleys were abandoned across the borough last year.

Council urges supermarkets to do more to tackle dumped shopping trolleys

More than half a million trolleys are stolen from UK retailers each year, according to figures released by Wanzl, which runs the Trolleywise service to help retailers retrieve their trolleys and a Trolleywise App for members of the public to easily report any they spot abandoned.

Trolleys are often abandoned in roads, on walkways and in parks which present a hazard to the public and blight the environment. Some are even dumped in local waterways, rivers and canals where they can cause harm to wildlife.

It is the retailers’ responsibility to look after their property and supermarkets should have arrangements in place to pick up abandoned trolleys, but the Council is questioning the effectiveness of these arrangements. In a one-hour neighbourhood walkabout arranged by the Council in Hollinswood last week, six abandoned trollies were spotted and logged. Failure by the supermarkets to collect trollies can lead to substantial fines.

In a letter to local supermarkets, cllrs Lee Carter and Richard Overton have urged them to step up their efforts to collect abandoned trollies and confirm what arrangements they have in place for managing their collection.

In addition, the Council is raising awareness of the free Trolleywise App, which is available for people to report abandoned trolleys. Although not all retailers are signed up to the scheme, most of the bigger ones are.

These include:

  • Aldi
  • Asda
  • B&Q
  • Home Bargains
  • Iceland
  • Morrison’s
  • Marks & Spencer (M&S)
  • Sainsbury’s
  • Tesco

If you spot one of their trolleys abandoned, use the Trolleywise App and it will be collected. If you spot a trolley that is not from one of these stores and is on public land, you can report it online to the Council. The Council will contact the relevant store and request that the trolley is removed. If not collected, the Council will collect and charge the store for costs incurred.

Cllr Lee Carter, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for neighbourhood services, said: “Abandoned trolleys are an issue that needs sorting. We have seen them on most of our neighbourhood walkabouts so far, and people are rightly concerned but many aren’t sure what they should do. Most don’t realise that retailers are responsible for them and haven’t heard of the App.

“By writing to retailers and promoting the Trolleywise App so people know what they can do, we are hoping to see fewer abandoned trolleys messing up our borough.”

Cllr Richard Overton, Telford & Wrekin Council cabinet member for enforcement, added: “We are keen to work with retailers to ensure they have the proper procedures in place to keep their trolleys secure and collect them quickly if they are taken and abandoned. Due to public safety and the impact on the environment, we will of course reserve the right to remove trolleys not picked up by retailers and recharge them the costs.”

To report abandoned trolleys belonging to the retailers listed here, download the free Trolleywise App, available on the App Store and Android App on Google Play. You simply take a photo using the app, which will alert the nearest Trolleywise collection team to come and pick it up and return it to where it belongs. 

Report abandoned trolleys belonging to other retailers here.

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