Abandoned trolley charge approved to tackle 308% rise in dumpings

Two shopping trollies were among the rubbish cleared from the river. Picture: PICKEREL PROJECT

Proposals were put to Ipswich Borough Council in a bid to curb the number of shopping trollies abandoned in Ipswich. - Credit: Archant

Supermarkets will face bills for dumped trolleys that could amount to hundreds of pounds after a 308% in abandoned carts over the last two years.

Proposals were put to Ipswich Borough Council in a bid to curb the number of shopping trollies strewn across roads, parks, walkways and waterways in the town.

The council voted unanimously in favour on Tuesday evening which will see the company responsible for an abandoned trolley charged £50 per trolley for its collection, return and/or disposal by the council.

The costs will also include £5 per day per trolley if the council organises storage, up to a maximum of 42 days.

In a report to the council's executive meeting, the waste and cleansing team found the average instances of abandoned shopping trollies so far this year was eight per month.

Compared to the 2020 average of 2.6 per month, this was a 308% increase. 

The monitoring of abandoned trollies began after a resident living near Bourne Park contacted Labour councillors Bryony Rudkin and Phil Smart on the issue of Asda trollies dumped in the green space. 

Having talked to Asda representatives, Councillor Rudkin said the argument given against implementing measures to prevent trolley dumping such as pound slots was damage to the “customer experience”. 

She said: “Some people might ask why the supermarkets must pay when it is the customers who are abandoning the trolleys, but it would be very hard to get hold of the customers and it is the supermarkets providing the trolleys.” 

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A public consultation found that 94% of respondents reported seeing trolleys around Ipswich and culprits were most commonly Asda shoppers, as this company owned just over 34% of the trolleys reported by respondents. 

Trolleys were most commonly sighted in parks, with 29 of the 35 those surveyed reporting finding them in these spaces. 

The proposal to charge supermarkets was supported by 79% of respondents. 

Those who responded during the four-week consultation included 34 members of the public and one business response by telephone.