Rotorua Lakes Council is working with local businesses to address the issue of illegal dumping of shopping trolleys within the city.
Representatives from New World, The Warehouse, Pak’nSave and Countdown met with Council in June and have come up with a locally-led solution, said Rotorua Lakes Council Group Manager and District Development, Jean-Paul Gaston.
The public can call each of the four businesses directly and report abandoned trolleys. The business will then endeavour to retrieve the trolley within a 48-hour period.
Council says it will work with other businesses that use trollies to encourage them to support the new concept.
“We are grateful for the involvement of and contributions from New World, The Warehouse, Pak’nSave and Countdown and are keen to also working with other businesses that use shopping trolleys,” said Mr Gaston.
“The solution the four businesses have come up with is cost-effective and removes the cost burden to ratepayers.
“The taking of trolleys from business premises is considered theft and when a trolley is abandoned it is considered illegal dumping which the council has the responsibility to clean up.
“Unfortunately, that comes at a cost. About 260 trolleys are removed from around the CBD every month, costing ratepayers about $5,000 per month. Council’s aim is to try and reduce the cost to ratepayers to zero.
“Trolleys on roadsides are obviously untidy and a hazard and overall, abandoned trolleys in public places impacts on how both locals and visitors view and feel about Rotorua. It may also impact their perception of safety and can harm the environment if they end up in waterways or ditches.”
The most problematic areas during the past couple of years have been the streets near Central Mall and along Fenton Street, but reports of abandoned trolleys also come from elsewhere within the city, he said.
“The community does not have an appetite to continue subsidising the cost of abandoned trolley retrieval and as a council we have a responsibility to ensure we explore all opportunities that stop any unnecessary spending and deliver better outcomes for Rotorua,” said Mr Gaston.