Supermarkets to be fined for abandoned trolleys?

Flint Town Council is set to fine local supermarkets £110 for every abandoned shopping trolley. If supermarkets don't stump up the council will scrap each trolley. It has to consult with the supermarkets and local communities first.

But the move could be adopted across the UK. A lesson the giant retailers will take seriously?

Fly-tipping on wheels

Possibly. Director of environment Carl Longland for Flintshire County Council says the authority, the Daily Post reported, will "seek to recover the costs of collection, storage and disposal of abandoned trolleys from relevant trolley owners by charging £110 per trolley."

It went on: "The charge would include administrative costs, such as those arising from the notification requirements, staff time for collection and delivery, as well as the cost for storage." Flint Councillors are set to decide today.

Why do people dump supermarket trolleys? For those without a car, because it's cheaper to push a trolley home than take a taxi or bus. But like burnt out cars and fly-tipping, abandoned supermarket trolleys are a blight - no different to fly-tipping.


Currently there's around two million UK shopping trolleys in circulation though around 400,000 are AWOL. Abandoned trolleys can contribute to water blockages, encouraging flooding in some cases says Flint Council's environmental department.

British Waterways agree. Even in 2009 it was costing the taxpayer organisation £150,000 to fish trolleys out of rivers and canals. Tesco told AOL Money that efforts are made to collect and secure trolleys.

"At our Broughton Chester Extra store we have installed a pound coin locking system to prevent trolleys being taken beyond the store perimeter. However, some trolleys are still removed from the store and we are grateful to customers who make us aware of abandoned trolleys."

What about Waitrose customers? Too posh to run off with a trolley? Apparently not: "In some areas," a spokesperson told us, "we also work closely with the local council who let us know about trolleys that need collecting. And in many of our branches we have installed systems to prevent trolleys being taken away from the car park."

Smartphones apps - a move backed by Asda and Sainsbury's - are being deployed to help. An app called Trolleywise lets you send photos of trolleys, complete with a GPS location.