Calls for council to hit supermarkets with £1000 fine to stop trolleys being dumped
Caerphilly County Borough Council should fine supermarkets £1,000 for every trolley found outside their premises, a councillor has demanded.
Blackwood councillor Nigel Dix wants tougher enforcement action after finding a significant amount of trolleys dumped in the Sirhowy River.
Independent councillor Dix said: “Caerphilly has a major problem with supermarket trolleys being dumped in our rivers and abandoned on our streets. I have reported 13 trolleys which have been dumped in the Sirhowy River – it is not only unsightly, it’s a danger to wildlife.”
The issue of abandoned trolleys was brought to councillors’ attention by Donna March, who is the co-organiser of the Blackwood Action on Litter Community Group.
Donna March and Sali Daniels began the litter picking group in 2018 with three members, but now have around 25 volunteers who litter pick every month.
Donna is also a member of a citizen science project which aims to help restore local river habitats.
When conducting a survey, she spotted eight trolleys in a 500 metre stretch of the river.
Cllr Dix has written to council Chief Executive Christina Harrhy, calling on the authority to adopt Section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Section 99 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 means local authorities can remove abandoned trolleys from land and water, with the cost of the removal can then be charged to the owners of the trolleys.
Cllr Dix added: “I am keen that the legislation is adopted as quickly as possible, to ensure that our streets, rivers and environment are free from dumped shopping trollies.”
Cabinet Member for Planning and Public Protection, Cllr Philippa Leonard, said the council had not previously adopted Section 99 of the Act because “it is not something that has posed a significant issue in the borough to date” – but added that this could be reviewed.
Cllr Dix said he intended to present a notice of motion to adopt the policy at the next full Council meeting.
Fellow Blackwood councillor Andrew Farina-Childs, who litter picks every month, said he believes there are approximately 18 trolleys currently in the Sirhowy River.
Independent councillor Farina-Childs said: “We live in such a lovely place, this is just awful to see. We have pulled a few trolleys out ourselves previously – things need to improve.
“Unfortunately it seems the environment department is missing a key element, they need more powers.”
Labour councillor Leonard, who represents Risa East, said the council was aware of the issue and officers had been working with supermarkets to resolve the issue.
She continued: “This has included the supermarkets investing in new equipment to reduce people being able to take trolleys off site, and the employment of a private contractor to collect any abandoned trolleys as and when they are reported.”
Cllr Leonard confirmed council officers will continue to work with supermarkets to look at “further measures that can be introduced going forward to help reduce the problem”.
She also said the council has entered into a partnership with Keep Wales Tidy to to remove trolleys from watercourses, allowing “trollies to be collected and disposed of effectively”.
Cllr Leonard urged people to report fly-tipping to the council through its website.
The link to report fly-tipping is here…
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