The war on shopping trolleys littering the city’s streets is about to get down and dirty as Bathurst Regional Council moves to address the problem.
Council has adopted a new policy that will see its rangers impound renegade trolleys and only return them to the retailer once a $46 fee has been paid.
Councillor Warren Aubin welcomed the move, saying that if you don’t succeed with a goal, you should try, try and try again.
“My concerns seem to have fallen on deaf ears every time I bring it up, but not anymore,” he said yesterday.
“Now council actually has some clout and has adopted as policy the Code of Practice for the Management of Shopping Trolleys which is binding with the Australian Retailers’ Association of NSW.
“That includes the $46 charge to release any impounded trolleys back to the store they came from and in Bathurst’s case, that’s the big supermarket chains.”
Cr Aubin said the new policy is a big win for the community.
“We all take pride in Bathurst’s historic streetscapes in the central business district, yet these ugly shopping trolleys keep on turning up,” he said. “It’s not just in the CBD. You’d be surprised where they are discarded once people unpack their groceries and load them into the car.
“You’ll see them dumped down near the swimming pool and the river, but the real problem is on the footpaths where they are a hazard for pedestrians.”
Cr Aubin said the move may lead to supermarkets considering putting trolley locks on their trolleys which mean they can’t be taken out of the car parks which service the supermarkets.
“There’s a perimeter around the shopping centre and if you go beyond that zone the lock activates and it goes nowhere,” he said.
It was back in October 2012 that Cr Aubin first raised the wandering shopping trolley issue, featuring in a front page story in the Western Advocate.
Janelle Matus, manager of the Bathurst Chase where Coles are the anchor tenant, said yesterday they try to keep on top of the problem, but that at the end of the day the supermarket is responsible for the collection of the shopping trolleys.
She said Bathurst Chase has return bays provided for their return of the trolleys and customers are encouraged to do the right thing.
“No doubt council’s policy will bring this issue back to the public domain,” Janelle said. “We welcome any move that makes Bathurst a better place.”