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23 Nov 2011

Charging for dumped trolleys......

Dumped trolleys have been a problem around Reading, and in Battle ward, for many years.  Things got worse when Tesco opened in 2008.  Despite the automatic wheel locks, Tesco trolleys were found all over the place and  residents and councillors were very cross about it.

Earlier this year they finally introduced a £1 deposit scheme.  Things improved but I still see Tesco trolleys, along with ASDA and Waitrose, in the streets and parks.  The supermarkets do collect them if they are told about them but this is usually just once a week.

The Labour administration of Reading Borough Council are now proposing to charge supermarkets for the collection, storage and return of their rogue trollies.  I see no reason why the Council should collect and store trollies for free, as is currently the case.  Councillors Gul Khan, Chris Maskell and myself welcome this proposal and hope we will see fewer and fewer trolleys scattered around Battle ward.

Council press release:

"Proposed Charges for Dumped Shopping Trolleys

Reading Borough Council Press Release

Reading Borough Council is proposing to charge supermarkets and convenience stores for abandoned shopping trolleys that are dumped around the town.

Keeping the town clean and tidy and respecting the environment were key issues raised by residents during the Council's 'We Need To Talk' consultation initiative. Discarded shopping trolleys, particularly when they are abandoned on pavements, parkland, beauty spots or in waterways, are the cause of a large number of complaints by local residents each year.

The Council already contacts the owners of abandoned trolleys, requesting them to retrieve their property. If they fail to do so, Council staff remove the trolleys. This has significant cost implications, both in terms of staff hours and disposal fees. So in future, the Council is proposing to charge supermarkets and convenience stores for recovering, storing, returning of disposing of the items.

Proposed charges would be as follows:

• Removal: £15 per trolley
• Storage: £7.50 per week or part week
• Return the trolley to the business: £15 per trolley
• Disposal: £50 per trolley

A report including the proposals will be going to a meeting of Reading Borough Council's Cabinet on November 28 for approval to begin a consultation process with interested parties. If approved businesses affected will be invited to have their say on the proposals before a final decision is made.

Paul Gittings, Reading's Lead Councillor for Environment and Climate Change, said: 'Unsightly dumped shopping trolleys are a blight on local areas and it is only fair that businesses who do not put in place appropriate measures to collect them have to pay for their retrieval.'

Shopping trolleys dumped on pavements can be an obstruction for pedestrians as well as in some cases causing damage to parked cars. When dumped in rivers they can also damage boats and be harmful to wildlife.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows local councils to remove abandoned shopping trolleys from their land and recover subsequent costs. After removal a notice must then be served on the owner of the trolley within 14 days. If the owner claims the trolley it must be returned but only after the Council's charges have been paid. If the trolley is not claimed by the business, the Council may dispose of the trolley after a period of six weeks and may charge the owner for the subsequent costs of disposal."

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