COUNCIL NEWS: The City of Parramatta has released a paper on the management of abandoned shopping trolleys on suburban streets. It is due to be discussed and adopted by council on Monday 13 July. You can read it here
This paper details surveys and research the council has done into how to reduce abandoned shopping trolleys littering our streets. We've all seen them in and around Epping, but the paper confirms that Carlingford Court is a hot spot. In their survey, this area had a sizeable number of abandoned trolleys on the days Council surveyed the area around the shopping centre - just under a 100 trolleys over 5 days. Interestingly, Coles in Epping had very low numbers - which may be linked to the fact that these trolleys have coin deposits.
The paper outlines possible approaches to manage this issue but concludes that things like education campaigns make no difference to behaviour. In addition the council say they have lobbied the supermarket operators to take some responsibility for their trolleys. This was not a successful discussion. That doesn't surprise us at all. The Trust has been lobbying the supermarket managers and head office over the last year to no avail. All they reply is platitudes about trying to address it, but no action!
The paper gives an interesting case study though where Hornsby Council had a campaign to address trolleys abandoned around Westfield in Hornsby - they impounded trolleys over a nine month period and charged the supermarkets substantial amounts to get them back. In the end, it led to change and the introduction of wheel locking systems, that immediately reduced the issue. So much so that Hornsby could stop their scheme.
So, what does Parramatta's paper conclude? Unfortunately, it takes the easy option by recommending the trial of a tag and fine scheme on abandoned trolleys using existing staffing. It is hard not to conclude that this will fail to make any difference at all to the problem and we will continue to see the trolleys abandoned on the verges. And some future paper will conclude that they should just bite the bullet and follow Hornsby's lead.