COUNCILLORS are hoping to see a reduction in the number of shopping trolleys abandoned around Bathurst after a “positive” meeting with retailers.
Bathurst Regional Council invited both small and major retailers that supply trolleys to customers to meet on Wednesday night to discuss the ongoing problem.
Deputy mayor Bobby Bourke said he, along with councillor Warren Aubin, had been fighting a war on trolleys for around a decade, but this was the first time they had the opportunity to speak to all retailers at once.
“I thought it was good. We had the opportunity to talk to all the shopping trolley owners, they all showed up, and some positives came out of it,” he said.
The retailers were reminded that the problem of abandoned trolleys wasn’t just contained to the central business district, but actually spread much further.
Trolleys are often found on the sides of highways, in residential streets, in parks and in the river.
“It’s outside the CBD area; Cr Jacqui Rudge spoke out and said it doesn’t look real good for our tourism,” Cr Bourke said.
“There is a lot of people that don’t have vehicles, they live on the other side at places like Kelso, and use them to take their groceries home.”
However, the consensus from retailers seemed to be to encourage the return of trolleys more and the use of the reporting channels.
“They’ve got to make an awareness of misuse of shopping trolleys in their stores,” Cr Bourke said.
He said retailers indicated they would further encourage people to return their trolley.
Residents are also encouraged to report abandoned trolleys to retrieval agencies, so the trolleys can be collected and returned to retailers more swiftly.
To report Coles or Target trolleys that have been abandoned, call 1800 876 553 or visit www.coles.com.au.
For Woolworths, Big W, Dan Murphy’s and IGA trolleys, contact Trolley Tracker on 1800 641 497 or visit www.trolleytracker.com.au.
Cr Bourke said that those who report to Trolley Tracker can select to go into the monthly prize draw, valued at $1000.
He said that, ultimately, people need to take more responsibility for the trolleys they use, as abandoning them can cost the retailers and council money.
According to a report from council’s Environmental, Planning and Building Services direct, Neil Southorn, which went before councils in May, council can impound trolleys with a fee of $50.
However Mr Southorn said that history has shown a large number of trolleys aren’t collected, leaving council with a disposal liability on top of the cost of collection and impounding.