Havering Council to crackdown on Romford’s abandoned trolleys

Havering Council are encouraging local supermarkets to clear up their trollies after a large number

Havering Council are encouraging local supermarkets to clear up their trollies after a large number have been found dumped across the borough. Cllr Robert Benham and Paul Ellis with some of the trollies - Credit: Archant

Havering Council has written to supermarkets across the borough threatening fines up to £140 if they do not collect trolleys which have been abandoned.

A short walk around Romford town centre on Tuesday revealed 51 shopping trolleys tucked away in different corners of the streets.

“This cannot be allowed to continue,” said Cllr Robert Benham, the cabinet member for environment.

“We would much rather work with supermarkets and have them collect their own trolleys, but, if this does not happen, we will remove them ourselves and charge up to £140 for each one, maybe more.”

Until now, the council has relied on a borough-wide trolley collection service, which began in 2008.

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In the first 18 months of this scheme, more than 16,000 trolleys were removed from the streets and returned to stores at no cost to council taxpayers.

If all these trolleys were laid end to end, they would form a line 9.94 miles long – the distance from Romford to the Olympic Park.

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However this is no longer working as there has been a significant increase in trolleys being abandoned across the town centre and they get awkwardly chained together, often with shopping carts from different stores, making their removal more difficult.

Trollies from 12 different shops, including Asda, Marks and Spencer and Aldi, were found abandoned in Romford with some appearing to have travelled up to two and a half miles from Morrisons in Wood Lane, Dagenham, and another from B&Q in Gallows Corner.

“While it was great fun out walking in the sun it was rather depressing to see over 50 trolleys left abandoned,” said Cllr Benham.

“The fines aren’t about making money, we want the supermarkets to work with us to keep the streets clean.

“If they don’t start collecting them we will collected them and charge them for doing so.”

The council will make supermarkets and shops pay for the removal and storage of the trolley as well as a disposal fee if they are not claimed.

Most trolleys, which cost up to £300 each to make, are branded with the store’s name and will be easily identifiable

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