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Aug 14, 2013 12:12 PM by Ryan Haarer

City may fine retailers for abandoned shopping carts

TUCSON- You see them all over town. Shopping carts, abandoned, left far from the store they belong to. Tucsonans have been calling for something to be done and the city council is responding.

Food City already hired an outside company to collect their carts.

"Customers, some of them don't have transportation to carry these carts and they leave them at bus stops or take them a few blocks down," said store manager, Ramon Lopez.

But, not every retailer has a cart collector. So, the city has proposed hiring their own cart wrangler, forcing businesses to comply with state law.

"If it is properly marked then the city is required to notify the owner of the cart and give them three days to retrieve the cart. if they don't retrieve the cart within those three days then the city can charge a fee which we will be charging thirty dollars and then the store has thirty days to come and take the car from the impound lot," said Tucson Code Enforcement Administrator, Theresa Williams.

The city has put aside 40,000 dollars for this program which is modeled after a similar program in phoenix. Neighborhoods are excited about the clean up and stores aren't putting up a fight.

"Retrievals, that costs us money, and losing carts costs us money. It's all about the bottom dollar. If we can control that cost, it helps pass that savings on to the customer."

The City Council is expected to make a vote on the ordinance in September.

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