Shopping cart

Shopping cart theft results in a plague | Opinion

Oregon retailers have a problem. This is one that can be fully solved, but is hiding in plain sight: shopping carts. They are in the rights-of-way, which makes them a major traffic hazard. They are in unbuilt lots. In the brush, rust. They are at the corner of Nye Beach. They adjoin Walmart on both sides of the 101 freeway. They are in parks and in ravines full of thickets of blackberries.

So what can be done? Limiters. Walmart, Kroger, and Safeway, among others, are massive companies that provide their shareholders with good quarterly profits. What about community impact? Not part of the equation. Interestingly, the only store here does not contribute to this problem? Walgreens. Why? They have installed magnetic limiters and their carts cannot be removed from the premises.

Big-box retailers often get good local, state, and federal tax benefits for locating near major streets and highway junctions. Warrenton in Clatsop County is a good example. Now that many of these arrangements given to retailers here have expired, it’s time for these companies to control their own carts when removed from the premises – which are their property – to alleviate an issue affecting the community. Lead by example? I hope.

A quick Google search yields many companies and technologies to prevent or reduce cart theft. Reducing the scourge and therefore reducing taxpayers’ money (needed to return carts to the original store and landfill damaged carts) seem like goals that all parties could agree on.