Shopping trolleys loss right to be free range

By 16 January 2008 35

As always, the Stanhope government is attacking the big issues, this time by being tough on abandoned shopping trolleys.

According to the SMH online, the ACT government plans to introduce tougher laws requiring retailers to retrieve dumped shopping trolleys or face penalties. Retailers will be forced to clearly mark trolleys so they can be identified by government officials.

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said there was little incentive for retailers to collect and dispose of dumped trolleys in a responsible manner.

Personally, if I were a shop owner and I received a fine from the ACT government, I’d have no option but to pass it on to my consumers. I might even get rid of trolleys if I were a small operator, or use those incredibly annoying pay for a trolley things.

In addition, most of these abandoned shopping trolleys are from people without cars who wheel the things incredible distances. These people are generally some of the poorer in our society and probably can’t afford cars. And as we know, the buses are pretty useless these days in the suburbs.

The issue is a tricky one. Firstly, I agree that shopping trolleys wandering the streets late at night are an eyesore and should be rounded up. However, I don’t think shopkeepers should foot the bill for people taking, and NOT returning them. (Admittedly big operators like Coles and Woolies could easily afford this)

At present rangers locate the trolleys and then remove them which is what they should do as it is our taxes that are paying for the rangers, and the service. However, the current government slashed ranger services and seem to think that everything in this town, except for bizarre statues and works of art, should be user pays.

An interesting dilemma. And maybe Stanhope is right about penalising the shopowners. However, it does appear to me that once again Stanhope is not addressing the real issue, which is people flogging the things in the first place. maybe there should be a fine for taking a shopping trolley further than 200 metres from a store?

[Ed. Ari is also quick to point out how dangerous these steel menaces can be in the wrong hands]

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35 Responses to
Shopping trolleys loss right to be free range
Mr Evil 1:57 pm
16 Jan 08

Perhaps lost trolleys should be confiscated and put into a crusher in front of all the local supermarket managers?

Ari 1:58 pm
16 Jan 08

Another negative is that this move could dampen the festive spirit in Charnwood.

farout 2:09 pm
16 Jan 08

I saw a bloke proudly pushing a trolley down Northbourne Avenue, probably heading towards the Lyneham flats or somewhere to Dickson.
Personally, I hope he had all his posessions in the trolley was walking off to Bungendore or somewhere over the border to relocate.

Mælinar 2:16 pm
16 Jan 08

Stanhope doesn’t have a leg to stand on, and he knows it.

All the company needs to do is declare that if a trolley is taken more than 200m from the shop, it’s theft, and the onus of responsibility then falls to the theif.

Woolies already has a reporting service, dob in an abandoned trolley and be in the draw for a $1,000 woolies voucher, drawn every month.

If you want to see the collection efforts of supermarkets to recover their trolleys, look no further than Kippax Woolies – they have an outdoor trolley area where all the bashed up trolleys are collected, there are some doozies in there.

On a final note – as those things cost a bomb, the supermarkets are already recovering them, perhaps its just time somebody told dopey stan that.

neanderthalsis 2:35 pm
16 Jan 08

There was a report in the Aus yesterday on a similar topic:,25197,23052060-23375,00.html Sorry, have yet to figure out the hyperlink thing)

It states a single trolley costs $150, the ones with the baby seat (aka the Charnwood Pram) costs $600… It seems in the interest of retailers to protect what is a considerable investment on their part.

mad_kiwi 2:39 pm
16 Jan 08

i was at a shopping centre in nz. the trolleys were labeled something like ‘the wheels on the trolley do not work if you take them outside the carpark’ and it works. cant be that hard here

barking toad 2:40 pm
16 Jan 08

The mayor has found his correct place as a minor official in a big country town.

I prefer him squealing about abandoned shopping trollies than pontificating about gorebull warming, refugees and bills of rights.

RAGD 2:43 pm
16 Jan 08

So not only would shops lose money on losing the trolley, but also get fined for losing money… Classic..

Mr Evil 2:53 pm
16 Jan 08

Has anyone thought of writing a bill of rights for shopping trolleys?

Ari 2:55 pm
16 Jan 08

‘the wheels on the trolley do not work if you take them outside the carpark’

In my experience they rarely work properly in the shop.

GnT 3:15 pm
16 Jan 08

There is a fruit and veg shop near me where they won’t let you take their trolleys out of the store. That is, you can’t even take your trolley load of shopping to the car. I choose not to shop there, preferring to use one of the bigger supermarket chains where the prices compare and I can at least get my groceries to the car.

farout 3:15 pm
16 Jan 08

“This trolley will self-destruct if taken 100 metres from the mother-ship”

Ingeegoodbee 3:25 pm
16 Jan 08

GnT, you get the same at Wiffens at Fyshwick Markets, except there they have one of their lackeys carry your box of friut and veg to your car for you … which is one of the reasons I shop there.

hingo_VRCalaisV6 3:33 pm
16 Jan 08

Its not the junkies fault that they bought 20 cartons of cigarettes and transported them in a trolley back to their flat and dumped it – its the supermarket for letting us use them!!

VYBerlinaV8 3:35 pm
16 Jan 08

I think we should require formal licensing of all persons who wish to push a trolley. Pushing a trolley is not a right, it’s a privilege, and intense training and assessment is required before we can let the unsuspecting public loose on these wild stallions.

pelican 3:46 pm
16 Jan 08

I’m thinking locator chip and solar powered engine in the trolleys to allow remote control from the nearest satellite.

Jonathon Reynolds 3:48 pm
16 Jan 08

Hate to say it but ALDI (with their superior German know how and awesomely competitive prices) seem to have got the procedure right from the outset.

You put your two dollar coin in the trolley (or alternatively an ALDI token on a key chain – available for purchase at their checkout) and when you return your trolley you get you coin deposit back. How simple and effective is that?

I do not think I have ever seen free range ALDI shopping trolleys roaming the streets.

hingo_VRCalaisV6 4:20 pm
16 Jan 08

You only get stray ALDI trolleys out the front of mansions where they can afford to lose the 2 bucks.

Ingeegoodbee 4:32 pm
16 Jan 08

Coles in Manuka tried the $2 thing and abandoned it after a couple of months because people were avoiding shopping there – initially it was thought it was because people didn’t like the fact that they had to “remember” to bring along a $2 coin just so they could shop there, but with a little digging it was apparently revealed that folk were simply sick and tired of being hassled by junkies in the underground car park who badgered them for their trolley (so as to recover the $2) while they were trying to unload their groceries into the car.

hingo_VRCalaisV6 4:34 pm
16 Jan 08

Maybe Coles should sell those keyrings like ALDI do. They fit the slot so you don’t have to remember your $2 coin.

Mælinar 4:37 pm
16 Jan 08

You guys obviously don’t live in Boganville. They learned that you can take 2, or alternatively, if Sheila and Rhonda both go down to the shops together, they can put the two together and get both coins back wherever they desire.

Plenty of examples around Kippax ALDI, although they are a bit quicker at picking them up than Woolies.

Another way I’ve seen done is they wheel the trolley home, use a screwdriver to open the money receptacle in the privacy of their own back yards, and then dump the trolley.

Sammy 4:44 pm
16 Jan 08

I don’t think it’d be unreasonable for the supermarket to handcuff you to the trolley, and then you return to the store once you’ve loaded your car, and they’ll untether you. Problem solved.

Skidbladnir 4:45 pm
16 Jan 08

Anyone want to fix up the typo in this article’s headline?

GnT 5:18 pm
16 Jan 08

Hate to say it but ALDI … seem to have got the procedure right from the outset.

You take a trolley from Coles next door and wheel it into Aldi to do your shopping, then straight out to the car where you dump it wherever you like in the carpark.

Thumper 6:06 pm
16 Jan 08

Ye, fix my typo, please….

Nemo 6:18 pm
16 Jan 08

I’m waiting for Stanhope to propose a memorial to all the damaged shopping trollies.

Thumper 6:28 pm
16 Jan 08

Or commission a work of art….

MelonHead 7:22 pm
16 Jan 08

John, you’ve done it again. Tackled the big issues.

But seriously, the cost of trolleys, and the cost of collecting them from all points of the compass does not come out of company profits. These costs are added on to every item for every customer. This means either take your trolley back to the shop when you are finished with it (in my dreams) or take as many as you want, for whatever purpose you want, and anywhere you want.

I am in favour of any shop that does not let trolleys out of their sight.

toriness 8:18 pm
16 Jan 08

my vote is for farout or sammy’s ideas – namely that the trolley explodes if taken more than 100m from the supermarket or the user is handcuffed to the trolley until they relinquish it. although considering i am not a trolley thief myself and one of my personal hates is the rogue trolley eyesores around town – the exploding trolley policy sounds like a real winner, and has flow-on effects of getting rid of the dodgers in town.

swamiOFswank 8:41 pm
16 Jan 08

Ummm…I just use a 5c in the Aldi trolleys at Kippax. It works for about 50% of them. Then I just leave the trolley in the carpark when I’m done. It’s a great way to get rid of those pesky 5c pieces!

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