City Councilmember Tammi Thurm announced that the city was going to try cooperation, rather than regulation, in dealing with abandoned shopping carts at the Tuesday, Nov. 1 City Council meeting.

The problem that Thurm has been attempting to solve are the shopping carts that have been taken from retail establishments and abandoned all over the city.  Thurm said that the problem was particularly bad in District 5, which she represents.

Thurm said that she and Mayor Nancy Vaughan toured District 5 recently and found one area where there were 35 or 40 abandoned shopping carts.

The City Council had considered an ordinance that would fine the retail establishments for shopping carts that had been removed from their property and abandoned, but she said the city was going to try and solve the problem without penalities or fines.

Thurm said that following a conference call with the North Carolina Retailers Association, which included regional managers of “just about every big box store that is in our city,” the decision was made to put the proposed ordinance on hold for 90 days.

Thurm said that the city is going to try a program where the retail establishments will be notified of the abandoned shopping carts and given opportunity to retrieve them.

She said, “We got the cooperation of the district managers and retailers to see how this works.  We’re very hopeful that this will begin to address the problem.”

Thurm also asked for the participation of the public.  She said, “Anybody in the city can call the Community Relations Department at 336-373-2723 and request them to come pick them up.”  She added that it would be very helpful if those reporting abandoned shopping carts would identify the retailer that the cart came from when reporting it to Community Relations Department.

Thurm said, “The regional managers recognized that this was an issue and they wanted to help solve it.”