THERE are so many shopping trolleys being abandoned in Shannon that someone is coming out from Limerick to take the coins from them, this week’s town council meeting heard.
At the meeting, the council received an assurance from the county council that the problem of dumped trolleys is not the problem it once was but the members completely rejected this.
Councillor Gerry Flynn put forward a motion asking that possible solutions to the problem be found. In a written reply from Betty Devanny of the council’s Environment and Water Services section, it was claimed action has already been taken and has been largely successful. “Clare County Council received a number of complaints regarding the abandonment of shopping trolleys in and around Shannon town in previous years. A number of litter fines issued following an investigation by the environmental patrol warden at that time to the offending supermarkets in the area. As a result of the council’s enforcement action, the situation greatly improved. The environmental patrol warden also called to the supermarkets in the area informing them of the litter problem with the abandonment of the shopping trolleys and the responsibility of the supermarket under the litter pollution legislation.
“There are no official complaints recorded in respect of the abandonment of shopping trolleys in Shannon town in 2010. However, I note and accept the concerns of Councillor Flynn. Clare County Council will communicate these concerns to the supermarkets in the area and will remind them again of their responsibilities under the litter pollution legislation.”
However, Councillor Flynn wasn’t pleased with the reply. “The environment section seems to feel there is no problem but I know for a fact that there is.”
He outlined the options as he saw them. “It’s time to do one of two things. We can go back softly to the managers (of the local supermarkets) or we can find the managers more money and put it into a community initiative fund.”
Councillor Flynn said that the trolleys are being used for anti-social behaviour, with people ramming them into cars at night-time.
Councillor Patricia McCarthy said that even if there are not official complaints being made, there is still a problem with trolleys in Shannon.
She said that in some shopping centres trolleys are designed in a manner that stops them from being removed from the centre and that this might help address the problem in Shannon.
Councillor Greg Duff expressed his view that the problem is not lessening, while Councillor Cathy McCafferty said that one enterprising person is making money out of the problem. “A gentleman comes out of Limerick on the bus. He collects money from the trolleys and he then leaves them where he finds them,” she said. She added that he comes to the town so regularly that people would think he actually lives in Shannon.
“He’s obviously making money at it,” she added.