Editor’s note: This article has been updated to indicate that the order will move forward through the approval process.
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – City leaders in Bakersfield have discussed the problem of shopping carts that litter our neighborhoods and our community. They voted for owners and businesses to implement shopping cart recovery plans.
A new shopping cart ordinance is coming to Bakersfield. This is to keep caddies on property and off quarters. An important note is that the responsibility will lie with the owners and not the companies to keep the carts on the property.
Cart theft is a felony, and you face a misdemeanor for taking a cart. The problem isn’t just about crime, it’s about littering the community with abandoned carts and the costs imposed on businesses that must replace them.
“Capture the shopping carts because they’re a nuisance,” said Ken Weir, vice mayor of Bakersfield. “They are a threat in the region and we have to do something about it.”
The new order was approved at today’s ad hoc homelessness committee meeting. The ordinance is now submitted to the full city council for approval.
Fines will not go to cart handlers or franchise businesses, but rather to landowners. It will be the owner’s responsibility to create a cart recovery plan and work with businesses to implement it.
“It’s really about businesses containing their carts and not having to replace them and for the city, that’s a big help because it lessens the ugliness that we find of these carts,” Weir said.
The estimated costs for these long term plans are not cheap. For a grocery store, it should cost between $10,000 and $18,000. The city plans to create a one-time grant to help offset the initial cost.
“All of those carts are now in the community, and we don’t need them,” Weir said. “We are going to invest in this area with the owners and we hope that in a few years we will have a much worse situation.”
The new order will have its first reading to the public on June 15, its second reading in July and it will come into force in August. An adaptation period will be granted to existing owners but in February 2023 it will be fully applied.