Lakewood looks to round up wayward shopping carts

LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- The City of Lakewood is considering an ordinance to curb the problem of abandoned shopping carts. 

City leaders decided during a study session Monday night to bring the proposed abandoned shopping cart ordinance to the regular city council agenda.

Supporters argue the carts are unsightly and place a financial strain on businesses and the city, which spends money collecting an average of 20 of them a month.

The city surveyed retailers around Lakewood and 17 businesses, according to the online report, said they lose as many as 40 shopping carts a month. Business owners reported the carts costing anywhere from $75 to $125 a piece.

The City of Lakewood is considering looking at an ordinance that suggests a few ways of handling the issue, such as: 

  • Having business owners register their carts.
  • Creating a city-wide reporting line for people to call in abandoned carts. 
  • Hiring a contractor to collect the carts at a cost and creating an impound area for the city that will charge the cart owners a fee.

It’s unclear which of these suggestions will be part of the ordinance considered at regular council meetings.

During Monday's meeting, a woman demonstrated a gadget capable of carrying several bags of groceries at a time. It's designed to eliminate the need for shopping baskets to transport groceries to bus stops, where carts are often left abandoned.

Homelessness, or more specifically people using the carts to hold personal belongings will not be addressed by this ordinance.

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