'You're never far from a trolley in this town'
DUMPED shopping trolleys are being abandoned up to a mile away from supermarkets in Barrhead, prompting demands for action.
Town councillor Danny Devlin said: "The trolleys get absolutely everywhere - it doesn't matter where you go in Barrhead, you can bet you won\u2019t be very far away from a trolley.
"They are in the burns, the parks and the streets and it is starting to get out of hand."
Trolley theft costs British supermarkets an estimated £8 million per year, with each one costing from around £100 to replace.
In Barrhead, trolleys from Tesco and Iceland are a common sight mounted on streets in the town.
However, while Iceland has installed a coin operated anti-theft system in its trolleys, Tesco has not.
Councillor Devlin, who has received a string of complaints about the problem from residents, continued: "Dumped trolleys are unsightly and bring a rundown feeling to an area, which in turn attracts further litter and fly-tipping as well as encouraging anti-social behaviour.
"Abandoned shopping trolleys can also harm wildlife and if dumped in a stream or river, they can also create a flood hazard.
"New trolleys are expensive for a store to buy so it is in the retailer's interests to protect their assets, but it remains the case that several dozen are abandoned across Barrhead each year."
Under UK law, shopping trolleys remain the responsibility of the supermarket, and any trolley collected by a council cannot be sent for recycling or disposal without an individual destruction certificate from the supermarket in question.
In Cardiff the council is considering imposing a £75 fine on city supermarkets for every trolley found on the streets there.
The problem is further compounded by thefts of trolleys to be sold on as valuable scrap metal.
In January this year, 320 trolleys were stolen from an Asda store in Worcestershire, leaving the store with a £32,000 replacement bill.
The average supermarket can have anything from 120 to 300 trolleys. Some use an electronic braking system that will render a trolley immobile if it is taken beyond the boundaries of the car park.
Councillor Devlin added: "While people shouldn't be taking them from the supermarket in the first place, more needs to be done by the supermarket to prevent them being removed."
When asked about the problem, Tesco declined to say how much it was costing the retailer.
A spokeswoman said: "At Barrhead, we work hard to ensure our trolleys are collected and secured every night and our colleagues regularly check the areas around the store.
"This means we have plenty available for customers, but we are always grateful to customers who make us aware of any that have been abandoned. It enables us to collect them quickly."
This article appeared in Barrhead News 14 Nov 12