Bolton Council is to tackle the blight of abandoned trolleys by charging the retailers responsible for them.

These abandoned trolleys are to be seen strewn across the borough as a result of anti-social shoppers.

Under the Clean Neighbourhoods Act, the authorities are allowed to introduce charges for the seizure and the storage of the trolleys, as well as for the disposal of the trolleys if the retailers responsible for them are not able to collect them within six weeks.

On Monday, the cabinet member for climate change and the environment Richard Silvester approved the introduction of charges subject to a consultation with residents and retailers as well as organisations such as the Environment Agency and the police.

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Cllr Silvester described abandoned trolleys as an "eyesore" as well as a "hazard" on paths and on roads.

Cllr Silvester said: "These abandoned trolleys cost the council money in collection and disposal so the responsibility for payment of these costs will be with the owners. This will mean the council can put the monies recovered and saved back into frontline services.

"I welcome this policy which will go for consultation and which will include supermarkets and stores which own trolleys. It strengthens our commitment to a cleaner, greener borough."

The charges are a £50 fee for the seizure of an abandoned trolley and a £5 fee for the storage of an abandoned trolley per day. If a supermarket is not able to collect it within six weeks it is disposed of for a fee of more than £300.

Theoretically a supermarket could be charged a fee of more than £500 for an uncollected trolley in what one councillor for Bromley Cross, Nadim Muslim, described as a "money-making exercise", something Cllr Silvester denied.

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Tom Ironside, Director of Business & Regulation at the British Retail Consortium, an association for retailers across the UK, said: "Customers must return their trolleys after shopping so others can use them, and they do not harm the local environment. 

"Retailers must play their part by retrieving their trolleys and encouraging the public to report any sightings to local stores, or via the TrolleyWise app."

The introduction of charges is subject to a consultation.

The details are to be confirmed in the coming weeks.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.