Councillors are consulting on a new plan of action to tackle the scourge of abandoned shopping trolleys in Gainsborough.
West Lindsey District has launched a consultation to explore ways of addressing the issue of trolleys being discarded around the town.
One option could be for the authority to put in place a scheme - under Schedule 4 to the Environmental Protection Act 1990 - to charge supermarkets for every trolley it has to collect from the street. Supermarkets would have to pay a fee before the trolleys are returned.
Coun Judy Rainsforth, who represents the South West Ward in Gainsborough, said: “Most supermarkets are responsible and take all possible steps they can to prevent their trolleys being taken.
“However, abandoned trolleys are a significant concern in Gainsborough and I am approached by people on a weekly basis asking me what the council is doing about it because they make the area look untidy and uncared for.
“I also see people walking the trolleys out of the supermarket car parks and we need to take steps to prevent this.”
The authority said a scheme which imposed a financial penalty would aim to encourage supermarkets to take steps to prevent trolleys being taken in the first place. This approach in other areas of the country is said to have resulted in a significant reduction in abandoned trolleys.
Coun Gill Bardsley, vice chairman of the prosperous communities committee, said: “We are looking at the possibility of introducing a set of proposed charges to incentivise methods of stopping trolleys from being taken from shops which should see a reduction in the number of trolleys abandoned around Gainsborough.”
The authority is also reminding shoppers that removing a trolley and not returning it could be considered as theft, or as fly tipping if the trolley is dumped.
Details of the scheme and surveys can be found at www.west-lindsey.gov.uk/shoppingtrolley or in the reception at the Guildhall.