MIDDLE TOWNSHIP — Business owners will have less time to collect wayward shopping carts under an order unanimously brought forward by the township committee Wednesday night.
A public hearing and final vote are scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 1 at City Hall, 33 Mechanic Street.
Last year, the township enacted an ordinance requiring businesses to do more to keep shopping carts in stores and to collect them from the community when removed from site. At that time, officials said public works crews were spending an inordinate amount of time picking up carts from roads, parks and waterways.
The municipality imposed a fine of $250 on the companies.
The new ordinance gives business owners five days to retrieve a cart once notified by the township. After that, the municipality can dispose of the trolley.
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“We were giving them 30 days to pick up the carts and we were just having all these carts piled up. We have reduced this period to five days. So if they don’t get them back in five days, we can get rid of them,” Mayor Tim Donohue said after the meeting.
The carts themselves can cost stores $160 to $300. National statistics indicate that approximately 2 million baskets are taken each year.
Contact Bill Barlow: