Bolton Council is asking residents and retailers for their opinions in a bid to tackle the blight of abandoned trolleys by charging the shops responsible for them.

The abandoned trolleys are to be seen strewn all across the borough by anti-social shoppers and are both an eyesore and and a hazard on paths and on roads.

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 shops responsible for them are not able to collect them within six weeks.

The cabinet member for the environment Richard Silvester approved the introduction of charges last year subject to a consultation and now the council is asking residents and retailers, as well as other organisations including the police, for their opinions.

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Cllr Silvester said: "Ideally, we would like to see the supermarkets and the other retailers being more proactive with their security to tackle this problem. 

"However, these powers would enable the council to deal with the abandoned trolleys which hamper our commitment to a cleaner and greener Bolton."

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 shop is not able to collect it within six weeks it is disposed of for a fee of more than £300.

Theoretically a shop 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" at the time of approval last year.

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Previously 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 consultation is open from now until March 12. To contribute go to

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