September 2, 2021 3.49 pm This story is over 32 months old

North East Lincolnshire is being invaded by stray shopping trolleys

There are calls for more to be done by supermarkets and the public

By Local Democracy Reporter

North East Lincolnshire is in the midst of a shopping trolley epidemic, as more than a hundred strays have been collected across the area.

Street cleaners at North East Lincolnshire Council have collected more than 140 trolleys in the past eight weeks, an alarming figure.

The trolleys have been found in river banks, under bushes, on street corners and left in car parks, and street cleaning staff are now monitoring the numbers collected.

They say the problem has only got worse recently and are calling for the public to be mindful before dumping trolleys.

Normally, a shopping trolley is collected by a private contractor before being returned to retailers or used for spares.

If they are not collected, they can be scrapped to allow for the metal to be used again, but when trolleys are dumped in rivers and water courses, they can collect debris and cause blockages.

It’s a shopping trolley invasion! | Photo: NELC

It is also extremely difficult to retrieve them from muddy or wet surfaces, and the damage can cause them to be rendered useless.

Councillor Stewart Swinburn, portfolio holder for environment and transport at NELC, said: “Our staff are picking up two or three trolleys every day.

“Not only do they look unsightly when they’re left on the streets or dumped in the river, where they can injure wildlife and block the flow of water.

“It’s an unnecessary burden on our staff to retrieve trolleys. We know most people use them responsibly, but sadly a small number of people choose to dump them and leave us to pick up the mess.”

Grimsby’s canoe river cleaner is calling for more to be done to combat the issue. | Photo: NELC

Grimsby’s canoe river cleaner James Elliott is no stranger to pulling trolleys out of the River Freshney, and says that it is a threat to wildlife.

He said: “As well as undermining civic pride, shopping trolleys can alter the habit of our wildlife that call the river home.

“They can also pose a greater flood risk or algae build up as they act as anchor points for other litter and debris.

“I personally feel that supermarkets need to take personal responsibility and work with people such as myself and other volunteers to resolve this problem, or at least tackle it better.”