City looking to end abandoned cart problems

Prince Albert City Hall -- Herald File Photo

City Council is looking at ways to reduce the amount of abandoned shopping carts sitting around Prince Albert neighbourhoods and deter individuals from stealing them. 

Councillor Dawn Miller proposed a notice of motion during Monday’s meeting that City Administration establish a process where the City will pick up and take stray shopping carts to the landfill where businesses can pick them up by the end of each month prior to disposal. 

Businesses will receive a correspondence from the City letting them know their carts have been recovered.

City Manager Sherry Person confirmed that City workers will only pick up carts as they see them, staff will not purposely look for them. 

Ward 6 Councillor Blake Edwards mentioned that the issue should also be brought to the attention of the Board of the Police Commissioner, as the carts are considered stolen property.

“It used to annoy me when you had to pay a loonie for a cart, but I certainly see the rationale behind it now because it seems like a quarter of the City is walking around with shopping carts,” said Edwards. “Usually if you’re walking down the street with a stolen TV you get stopped, now you’re walking down the street with a stolen shopping cart valued at $200-$500.”

Councillor Tony Head added that some of the shopping carts are on private property, where the City can’t go. He said that a longer conversation is needed to address the best way forward.

According to Miller, the City already has a policy on shopping cart pick up but it hasn’t been reviewed in many years and she is unsure of what it exactly entails. She has asked City Administration to review the policy and bring it back as a report to Council. 

The motion was carried unanimously. A report from City Administration regarding the details of the previous shopping cart policy will be brought forward to Council and a letter will be sent to the Police Commissioner asking for clarification on how the Prince Albert Police Service handles stolen carts.