Shopping Carts, Go Home
They have been described in many ways. Most call them an indispensable convenience. When found in the park, on a sidewalk or on the street, some call them three-dimensional graffiti and signs of urban decay. Others, aesthetic blight. We all know them as shopping carts. The reality is that shopping cart theft and abandonment is a festering problem that seems to be getting worse in our community.
In May 2019, the City of Longview passed a shopping cart ordinance designed to help curb the problem of abandoned shopping carts scattered throughout the city.
Stolen and abandoned shopping carts pose a cost to us all. Cart loss and retrieval costs retail store thousands of dollars each year and that cost gets passed on to their customers. When left out in the community, abandoned shopping carts can impact public health and safety, obstruct free access to sidewalks and streets which can interfere with vehicular and pedestrian traffic. Cart abandonment also contributes to conditions of blight in the community that can reduce property values.
What you need to know: A section of the new shopping cart ordinance mirrors Washington State Law making it a misdemeanor for any person to remove a shopping cart from the premises of a store or to knowingly possess a shopping cart without the written permission of the store owner or the store owner’s authorized agent.
Rules & regulations at a glance: (LMC 7.34)
• Every shopping cart made available for use by customers is required to have a sign permanently affixed to it that includes contact information consistent with state law. Store owners will be subject to penalties for carts not retrieved after receiving notice from the city.
• Every store making more than 10 shopping carts available is required to submit to the city a “Shopping Cart Containment Plan” that will detail their efforts to keep shopping carts from unauthorized removal from their premises.
• Store owners are required to patrol and retrieve carts removed from their premises on all public streets within a half mile radius of the retail establishment every 72 hours.
Reporting abandoned carts - Every shopping cart made available for use by customers is required to have a sign permanently affixed to it that includes contact information consistent with state and city law. Please CONTACT CART OWNER FIRST! The stores contact information will be on the cart sign. If there is not a sign that provides store contact information or if the cart is not retrieved within 48 hours after contacting the store, contact the City via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, by phone at 360-442-5093, or by using the Android or iPhone app “GoRequest”.
Contact us - For more information about the specific rules governing shopping carts, please call the Code Compliance Division at 442-5093. For a more detailed information, visit the City of Longview website at www.mylongview.com