Shopping carts left behind can be
an eyesore. They can be dangerous obstacles and attract more litter for the
community. Stores around the country lose thousands of dollars each month from
shopping cart theft. Thankfully, many businesses are starting address the
problem in a more proactive manner.
Communities like Federal Way,
Washington have organized shopping cart retrieval teams run by volunteers.
According to local police, volunteers gather up to 500 abandoned carts each
month. The average cost of a cart is $100- $130, totaling $780,000 in prevented
losses a year to businesses.
Some stores hire professional retrieval
companies or face local fines for each cart the city has to collect. Other
communities have actually set up hotlines for people to report shopping carts
that have been left behind. Many businesses have also installed shopping cart
retention systems where the shopping cart wheels lock if it is taken beyond the