Selectmen consider bylaw to cut down on stray shopping carts in Wareham

Feb 28, 2018

Fed up with shopping carts scattered around town, Selectmen plan to take action via a new bylaw that will impose fines on store owners who don’t collect stray carts.

On Tuesday, town attorney Richard Bowen said he will bring a shopping cart bylaw to next week’s Selectmen meeting to be added to the Special Town Meeting agenda. To take effect, the bylaw will require approval from voters at the meeting, which is set for April 23 at 7 p.m. in Wareham High School.

Selectman Patrick Tropeano said abandoned shopping carts have long been a problem in Wareham.

“The carriages continue to lay there, they continue to become our problem,” Tropeano said. “And you talk about blight, that’s blight.”

Tropeano suggested fining stores that don’t collect their shopping carts left around town.

Bowen said he has reviewed shopping cart bylaws in other towns in Massachusetts. Most of these bylaws treat the shopping carts as a nuisance, he said. In cities and towns that approved similar bylaws, shopping carts must be marked so they can be identified for enforcement reasons. The store that owns the carts is responsible to keep them on their property.

“It seems like a subject that’s been very sore for a lot of communities,” Bowen said.