Page last updated at 10:47 GMT, Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Hotline to report dumped trolleys

Abandoned shopping trolleys
British Waterways said many chains write off the cost of stolen trolleys

A public hotline to report rubbish dumped in canals and rivers has been launched.

British Waterways said about 3,000 shopping trolleys are pulled from its network every year at a cost of over 150,000.

The service is launched in the same week 450 tyres were dumped in the Forth and Clyde Canal near the Falkirk Wheel.

British Waterways said the mountain of tyres was found at Locke 8 over the weekend and had since been removed.

Despite the find, the organisation said abandoned shopping trolleys were among the most potent symbols of mindless pollution to the UK's waterways.

The organisation said the hotline would also name and shame those retailers who failed to clamp down on lost trolleys.

'Fed up'

Chief Executive Robin Evans said there was "much more the supermarket chains can do to take more responsibility".

According to a survey of 1,991 people, commissioned by British Waterways and conducted by Opinium Research, 86% of people believed supermarkets should pay for dumped trolleys which they own to be recovered.

British Waterways, which maintains 2,200 miles of canals and rivers across the UK, said it could spend the cash used to recover dumped trolleys on maintaining waterways and protecting wildlife.

It urged supermarkets to introduce measures such as coin-operated trolleys, magnetic devices to prevent them leaving the store's grounds, or agreeing a deal to pay the costs of recovering trolleys.

Mr Evans added: "Shopping trolleys are symbolic of the mindless pollution that takes place along our canals and rivers every year and quite frankly we are fed up with having to clean up after other people.

"And while some supermarket customers will always be intent on abandoning trolleys away from a store, there are a number of effective measures that can be better implemented that make both business as well as environmental sense."

The Trolley Hotline can be contacted on 01923 291 120, and members of the public can report abandoned trolleys by visiting

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