'Marked increase' in dumped trolleys set to cost Ipswich supermarkets

Ipswich Borough Council clean up a trolley from the river in 2005.

Ipswich Borough Council is looking to crack down on dumped trolleys. - Credit: Andy Abbott

Supermarkets could be slapped with bills of more than £300 as part of a bid to curb the number of dumped shopping trolleys in Ipswich.

Ipswich Borough Council has unveiled the plans after 67 reports up to the end of September alone. 

Currently, the council bears the costs, but under legislation can introduce a levy aimed at the supermarket themselves with a maximum charge per trolley up to £310. 

A report by the authority said: “Abandoned shopping trolleys look unsightly and can be left in roads causing traffic hazards, block pavements causing obstruction to pedestrians, become a focus for fly tipping of waste, block watercourses, attract anti-social behaviour and help to normalise this behaviour in an area.

“Abandoned trolleys can help people to perceive an area as less attractive and less safe."

The new proposals could see a £50 charge per trolley collected, £5 per day storage per trolley up to a total of 42 days, and a further £50 per trolley for the council to return it or dispose of it.

This could cost £310 per trolley if it was held for the maximum 42 days and then returned or disposed of. 

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Supermarkets could make their own arrangements to collect from the council without the £50 return fee.

Following consultation the council can use powers to fix charges to supermarkets for the seizure, storage and disposal of shopping trolleys.

A six week public consultation will launch in the new year with those responses then being collated in a report to executive for a final decision.

According to council data, there were 31 reports of abandoned trolleys in 2020. That has increased to 67 this year up to the end of September alone.

The report found some supermarkets found it is cheaper to pay for the recovery of trolleys no longer on their land rather than put preventative measures in place.

A council spokesman added: “It’s only right that supermarkets take responsibility for their trollies and pay for the cost of their retrieval. That’s why we are going to consult on a new scheme to get them to pay rather than the public through their council tax.

“Supermarkets need to come up with better ways for making sure people don’t walk off with their trollies – both to benefit the environment but, if this course of action is agreed, to also protect their pocket rather than making others pay.”

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