Shopping cart regulations are working in other cities and may be on their way to Thunder Bay

For people who shop at big box retailers or grocery stores that don’t have a car or truck in the parking lot, their shopping carts are a way to get to their final destination, whether it’s ‘a bus stop nearby or further away.

These shopping carts are then abandoned and can start to pile up, sometimes on the public domain.

Thunder Bay city councilors will learn later this year how the city could implement a nuisance cart bylaw, looking at other cities in the province, such as Kitchener, that have a shopping cart bylaw.

The Kitchener policy allows for the abandonment of a shopping cart for up to 24 hours. After that, city officials can “tag” the cart and tell the retailer who owns it to pick it up.

“[We’ve] enjoyed great success with it. I’m not saying we still can’t find shopping carts or still get complaints about shopping carts every now and then, but we just don’t have the proliferation of them like we have. done, ”said Gloria MacNeil, Director of By-Law Enforcement with the City of Kitchener.

“I think the fact that we were watching, and calling them and making them accountable for them actually made a lot of these companies start hiring people to come and do it, drive around every couple. days.”

MacNeil said many stores now have staff who come in every alternate day and pick up carts to bring them back to the store. Some have also installed anti-theft devices to make it more difficult for trolleys to exit the store’s parking lot.

In addition, the Kitchener settlement contains a provision that if a retailer refuses to pick up their carts, after receiving instructions from the settlement, the company can receive a subpoena and be fined. So far, that has not happened, MacNeil said.

MacNeil said that in some cases the city has also collected the carts, but dismantled them for recycling or garbage. She said the carts were relatively expensive; most retailers prefer to pick them up themselves.


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Peggy P. Gilmore