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Abandoned shopping trolleys

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 section 99 and schedule 4 provide the legal parameters around abandoned shopping trolleys.

Local authorities can under EPA 1990 resolve to apply schedule 4 in its area. This gives provision to:

  • seize and remove abandoned trolleys
  • store abandoned trolleys for a period of 6 weeks
  • serve notice on anyone who appears to be the owner, within 14 days of removing the trolley, informing them that the trolley will be disposed of if it is not claimed
  • sell or dispose of abandoned trolley after 6 week period has expired
  • make charge on the retailer who appears to be the owner to an amount that covers the cost of removal, storage and disposal

North Ayrshire Council's process

  • we allow the supermarkets' contractor to collect trolleys until 11am each day and return them to store - if they have not been collected by 11am the trolley shall be removed by the Council and taken to its storage facility
  • the Council will tag the abandoned trolley identifying the time, date and location of where the trolley was retrieved. The Council will notify the owner of that trolley that it has been abandoned.
  • the Council shall advise the trolley owner in writing of the removal of the trolley and its location within 14 days of having seized it
  • the trolley owner should, upon payment of agreed fees, collect the trolley within 6 weeks of it being seized
  • if after 6 weeks the owner has not paid the appropriate fees and collected the trolley, the Council can dispose of the trolley as they see fit and charge the trolley owner for the storage and cost of disposal

The current charge for removal, storage, disposal or return of a shopping trolley is £33 per trolley. This charge will be reviewed annually in line with inflation.

Report an abandoned shopping trolley