Abandoned Shopping Carts to Be Treated as Litter in Dallas

Shopping carts are a great convenience at the grocery store, but they've become a big nuisance in Dallas where they're being taken from retailers' parking lots and abandoned.

Last year, the City of Dallas' Quality of Life & Environment Committee began reviewing the city's ordinance to see how to fix the problem of shopping carts ending up in alleys, along roadways and in neighborhoods.

During a five-month trial program last year, the city collected 600 shopping carts found off of retailer property.

The city has a series of fines in place to try and crack down on the theft and abandoning of shopping carts, but a report shared with the committee in April showed less than a quarter of abandoned carts collected by the city had fines imposed during the last five years.

Retailers are supposed to pay a $25 fine per cart to retrieve those carts collected by the city, but that hasn't solved the problem and many time those fines aren't collected.

On Wednesday, the Dallas city council will look to crackdown on the problem by simplifying how the city handles and classifies the abandoned carts.

The city will first declare shopping carts found in public places to be a public nuisance. Second, the city will treat abandoned carts as litter and destroy them immediately without including the retailer in any recovery process. The city will also remove rules that require carts to be labeled.

Carts can cost $100 to $300 each, so the city hopes this plan will motivate retailers to take action and keep carts from leaving their property.

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