Consideration was given to a report which provided an update on the Schedule 4 scheme to-date. The Council had agreed to implement the scheme using its powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and it had come into effect in August 2018 for the Gainsborough area.
The Scheme had been introduced to combat the persistent issue of abandoned shopping trolleys, which at the time were being collected at a rate of 30 per week.
Section 2 of the report set out the scope of the Scheme and its intentions, whilst Section 3 detailed the Scheme’s impact to-date including the number of shopping trolleys collected and subsequent income generated, as a result of re-charging the supermarkets.
Whilst the issue of abandoned shopping trolleys was still present in Gainsborough, the figure had reduced by 62% since the implementation of the scheme. Noting a slight increase in the recent year, there was still a significant reduction on the volumes that were being collected prior to the Scheme and as such, it was recommended that consultation in relation to its continuation be carried out in 2023.
Debate ensued and in response to Members’ questions the performance was clarified, noting that whilst 20/21 had seen an increase in trolleys collected compared to the previous year, when comparing that to collection levels pre-Scheme introduction, the number collected per week had reduced.
Members were reminded the Scheme did not, nor was it intended to provide a solution that resolved the issue of abandoned shopping trolleys, it provided a mechanism to recover the cost of clearing them, which in turn, encouraged supermarkets to take more steps to reduce the issue occurring. The Council were collecting the trolleys and either storing or returning them at its own cost prior to the Scheme.
In response to further questions, Officers confirmed the Scheme currently applied to Gainsborough only, its extension could be investigated as part of the future consultation, but there would have to be an evidenced need.
Thanks were expressed to the Operatives, working behind the scenes to deliver these successes.
(a) the progress of the Scheme and its success to-date be noted; and
(b) that consultation on the continuation of the Scheme and any subsequent decision on it, in line with the legislation, be carried out in 2023 when the Scheme has been in place for around 5 years.