More than 30,000 shopping trolleys abandoned in Sunderland in last two years as council reveals new fines for those taking them from stores such as Tesco, Sainsbury's, Morrisons

More than 30,000 shopping trolleys have been found abandoned in Sunderland in the last two years, as the council promises to bring in tougher fines for those taking them from supermarkets.

By Kevin Clark
Wednesday, 16th March 2022, 12:13 pm

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The shocking figure covers the number that have been collected and returned to stores by Trolleywise, the national scheme set up to retrieve abandoned shopping trolleys and reduce their loss from shops.

Now Sunderland City Council has launched a crackdown in Washington, where the issue is a particular problem.

It means anyone taking a trolley off a store’s land could be hit with a fixed penalty fine of £100.

People will be fined £100 if caught taking shopping trolleys off store land.

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Fines will be handed out to anyone caught removing a shopping trolley from retailers' premises at the Galleries Shopping Centre and Peel Retail Park.

Councillor Claire Rowntree, Deputy Leader of Sunderland City Council, said: "Abandoned shopping trolleys can be a real blight on our communities. Very often they end up abandoned at the side of the road where they can be a danger to traffic and cyclists.

"We've had reports of them being dumped in children's play areas where they may result in children being injured, and in our woods and greenspaces, where they can have a detrimental impact on nature and wildlife.

"We also know of cases where they have been used for illegal fly-tipping. So this is very much about us listening to complaints from residents and taking enforcement action in response."

A council statement added: “Initially the new restrictions will apply only to the removal of trolleys from Galleries Shopping Centre and Peel Retail Park in Washington.

"Warning signs have been put in place near the exit points of both these shopping areas advising people that they must not remove the trolleys and of the possible penalties if they do so.”

The new powers were introduced as part of the council's 2021 renewal of its citywide Public Spaces Protection Order.

Anyone who finds an abandoned trolley can report it to the retailer directly, reporting it to Trolleywise online or via the free Trolleywise app.

Trolleywise currently collect from Tesco, Sainsbury’s Morrisons, Iceland, Lidl, B&Q, Home Bargains plus some Aldi and Marks and Spencer stores in the Washington area.

Anyone who wants to report an abandoned Asda trolley can do so via email at [email protected] or by using the free Collex app.

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