A local man is celebrating “a win” for Queensborough residents courtesy of the folks at city hall.
Last summer, Queensborough resident Bill Plummer contacted the Record to voice concern about the number of shopping carts that were being dumped in ditches and abandoned on the side of the road under the Queensborough Bridge. He also reported the wayward carts to the city through its SeeClickFix app.
In January, Plummer took his concerns to city council and urged the city to take action. He noted that it wasn’t unusual to see a dozen discarded carts in a three-block section of Boyd Street in Queensborough.
Plummer is thrilled to report that the city was able to get Walmart at Queensborough Landing to install a deposit-based cart system – a move he calls “a win” for Queensborough.
City staff contacted Queensborough businesses whose carts were being found on the streets and ditches and used“a compliance-orientated approach” to address the issue, which has led to a noticeable reduction in the number of abandoned shopping carts.
Aaron Hilgerdenaar, the city’s supervisor of street use enforcement and animal services, said people would take the shopping carts from the businesses’ private property and they’d end up on sidewalks and ditches throughout Queensborough – something that was costly for businesses and for the city’s engineering operations staff, who would retrieve, transport and store the buggies.
“In this situation, we worked with the management team at Walmart to come to an equitable resolution for everyone involved,” Hilgerdenaar said in an email to the Record. “This resulted in a coin-lock system being implemented for their shopping carts.”
Hilgerdenaar estimates the city has found 75 per cent fewer carts in ditches throughout Queensborough since the new system was introduced at Walmart.
“We regularly try to work with the business community to try and find solutions to issues that arise,” he said. “In this case, the result was very successful.”