PUEBLO, Colo. - An appeal from the city of Pueblo to its citizens; stop leaving shopping carts everywhere.
The city says shoppers are taking carts from local businesses and leaving them at bus stops, in open fields, on sidewalks, and just about anywhere else you could imagine.
The city says some businesses are finding they cannot keep up with the number of carts that disappear, and the city is now receiving complaints on a regular basis about the unsightly abandoned carts.
"This situation is fast becoming a public nuisance, and we'd like our citizens to know there is a cost associated with retrieving them," said Jenny Eickelman, Interim Deputy City Manager. "We have found as many as 15 to 20 carts left behind at some locations, which is problematic from a public safety perspective as well as from a cost standpoint."
The city of Pueblo says removing discarded shopping carts is a costly practice.
"Most businesses attempt to collect their own carts on a regular basis, either by hiring employees to do the job, contracting the service out, or purchasing special equipment that disables carts when they are taken off the property, and it stands to reason that businesses pass those costs on to their customers in the form of higher prices." Eickelman added, "Some stores just can't keep up. At some point it may become necessary for the City to step in and remove the carts ourselves, which is not a very good use of our taxpayers' money, especially at a time when the City's budget is so stressed. Because the City is understaffed, if our employees are out collecting shopping carts, it means that some other City service is not being provided."
The city says one alternative for shoppers may be the use of portable personal shopping carts, which can be purchased locally for as little as $20, they are light weight, collapsible, and are permitted on Pueblo Transit buses.