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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 12:04 GMT 13:04 UK
Town to tackle straying trolleys
Wrexham councillors and officials with local MP Ian Lucas (R)
Wrexham councillors and officials with local MP Ian Lucas (R)
A council is waging war on supermarkets in an attempt to stop trolleys being dumped.

Wrexham Council says it collects around 50 trolleys a week on average and plans to use new legislation which will enable it to issue fines.

An Asda store in the town has installed an 80,000 fleet of trolleys, complete with radar system to prevent losses.

But Asda said the council should be targeting people who take the trolleys away rather than the stores themselves.

The council wants to fine supermarkets about 40 per trolley for collection and storage under new legislation.

We are still collecting a significant number of trolleys and this is not acceptable
John Bradbury, Wrexham Council

John Bradbury, the council's chief environment officer, said: "We recognise that some of our local supermarkets have made real efforts to reduce the numbers of trolleys leaving their stores.

"However, we are still collecting a significant number of trolleys and this is not acceptable.

"New legislation allows the stores to be fined for not collecting trolleys and we are using these powers to encourage the stores to take action to prevent the trolleys from leaving the store."

The council said in addition to being an eyesore, the trolleys being abandoned in Wrexham posed a flooding risk if they ended up in rivers and streams and can also contribute to road accidents.

'Brake system'

Asda recently spent 80,000 on a sensor system for its trolleys which put the brakes on as soon as a trolley was removed from the car park of its Wrexham store.

When trolleys cross a designated perimeter outside the store, a brake is triggered which brings it to a stop.

The system uses a series of radio waves to trigger the brake system which can only be unlocked by staff.

An Asda spokesperson said the council was "punishing the punished" by fining stores.

The store group said it costs 150 a time to replace lost trolleys and that the council should be targeting the people who take the trolleys away.

But the council said more needed to be done to stamp out the problem and displayed about 50 trolleys on Friday in the town's Queens Square, representing the number it collects in an average week.

Tesco said security devices were being fitted on many trolleys and appealed for assistance from the public.

"We work hard keeping our trolleys on site and our trolley squad regularly rounds up stray ones from the surrounding area but we continue to stress that customers must not leave the premises with them," said a Tesco spokesperson.

An Iceland spokesman said coin-deposit trolleys had proved an effective solution.

"We also have a 'trolley hour' in place whereby a dedicated member of staff is responsible for the collection of trolleys outside the store," he said.

Town store buys 'radar' trolleys
02 Aug 06 |  North East Wales

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