A BATHURST councillor has again called for action to tackle what he calls an “epidemic” of abandoned trolleys across the city.
Cr Warren Aubin has tabled about 30 photographs of abandoned trolleys he took in just two days last week.
Among the places where trolleys were spotted were William Street, Stewart Street, around sporting fields and by the Macquarie River.
Cr Aubin said the trolleys belonged to all major retailers – except for one.
“It’s Coles, it’s Woolworths, it’s Big W, Target and the occasional IGA [trolley]; there are no Aldi trolleys out there, not one,” he said.
“That is because Aldi have that little mechanism on their trolley where people have to actually put coins in to take a trolley and then they get their money back when they take the trolley back.”
Aside from making the city look untidy, Cr Aubin said the trolleys were being used to cause damage.
“They get used as weapons on Friday and Saturday nights when your guys and girls have a bit to drink and go riding down the main street … I know a guy that has had his shop window broken three times in the last two years with shopping trolleys,” he said.
Cr Aubin would like to see council write letters to the major supermarkets expressing its disgust at the amount of trolleys abandoned on a regular basis.
He said a simple solution would be for the supermarkets to use the same locking mechanism as Aldi to encourage shoppers to return their trolley.
“It’s not a hard fix,” he said.
“These things are available from industrial suppliers in Queensland for about $30 each and I dare say if one of the larger conglomerates got it together they’d get it for far less than that.”
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Councillors Jacqui Rudge and Bobby Bourke backed Cr Aubin on his stance against abandoned trolleys.
“I think they have become a horrendous nuisance around town, particularly in the CBD area,” Cr Rudge said.
Cr Bourke said he wasn’t prepared to lock up trolleys as he had previously suggested, but he thought something had to be done.
“All I can say is nothing has changed in 10 years. They’re still a problem,” he said.
Cr Aubin first declared war on abandoned trolleys in 2012, advocating the use of locks to encourage people to return trolleys to the supermarkets.
He raised the issue again in 2013 and 2015.
Council adopted a policy in June, 2016 that enabled its rangers to impound renegade trolleys and only return them to the retailer once a $46 fee has been paid.