Selectmen consider bylaw to cut down on stray shopping carts in Wareham

By Lydia Goerner | Feb 27, 2018
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Selectman Patrick Tropeano proposes a town bylaw to clean up the shopping carts on the side of the road.

Fed up with shopping carts scattered around town, Selectmen plan to take action via a new bylaw that will impose fines on store owners who don’t collect stray carts.

On Tuesday, town attorney Richard Bowen said he will bring a shopping cart bylaw to next week’s Selectmen meeting to be added to the Special Town Meeting agenda. To take effect, the bylaw will require approval from voters at the meeting, which is set for April 23 at 7 p.m. in Wareham High School.

Selectman Patrick Tropeano said abandoned shopping carts have long been a problem in Wareham.

“The carriages continue to lay there, they continue to become our problem,” Tropeano said. “And you talk about blight, that’s blight.”

Tropeano suggested fining stores that don’t collect their shopping carts left around town.

Bowen said he has reviewed shopping cart bylaws in other towns in Massachusetts. Most of these bylaws treat the shopping carts as a nuisance, he said. In cities and towns that approved similar bylaws, shopping carts must be marked so they can be identified for enforcement reasons. The store that owns the carts is responsible to keep them on their property.

“It seems like a subject that’s been very sore for a lot of communities,” Bowen said.

Comments (28)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 28, 2018 00:00

What about a bylaw to cut down on the stray people that push the stray shopping carts in Wareham?

Posted by: | Feb 28, 2018 05:49

Shopping carts aren't the problem.How about the vacant houses like (31 ryder st.  This house has refridgerators WITH doors on them, travel trailors, trash strewn all over the yard. That's blight. How bout we fine the banks that own them. Just a thought.

Posted by: bob | Feb 28, 2018 06:24

W.B.T.S and THKN60,you both are right on,and how about cleaning up MAIN STREET,from the likes of the MAYTAG PROPERTY to the old GREER LUMBER YARD.......

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Feb 28, 2018 07:25

How about a bylaw that calls for the arrest of anyone taking them from the lots. Once they are off the lots they are now stolen property. They are meant to be used to carry items to vehicles in the lots and not meant to be taken home. 1st offense is 6 months , 2nd is 3 years.  

Posted by: sadie | Feb 28, 2018 07:34

thkng have you reported the house on ryder to the town?



Posted by: cranky pants | Feb 28, 2018 07:41

I agree with sphere. ( if you can believe that )

Why are we looking to hold the stores accountable for the carts when it is the lazy slugs that feel the need to steal the carriages from the store. Theft is theft.

If they're taking them from the premises, it's theft. Those carts cost anywhere from $75 to $400 dollars depending on the style. You'd think it would be in the better interest of the stores to recover carts. People wonder why food is so expensive today, it's partly due to incurred costs of silly things like buying spare carts.


What's with all the bylaw proposals lately. We just feel that we need new rules, or are we just testing the facts to see if we can make new rules where we see fit ?

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 28, 2018 08:31

How many arrestable fineable people are actually taking the shopping carts?


I'm looking out my window now and I don't see any shopping carts on my street, in my yard, or in any of my neighbor's yards.


Think about who steals shopping carts.  That's the purple gorilla that hasn't been mentioned in this article.


It's not like the average person with a job and a car is going to choose to walk to Shaws and steal a shopping cart!


I hope Bowen reviewed shopping cart bylaws in towns with a similar demographic.  Places like Chicopee, Holyoke, and Ware.  A fair comparison must have a lot of homeless people, bag ladies, can collectors, and people living in motels.  Those are the people that steal shopping carts.  Good luck enforcing.  What are they gonna do?  Take the $4.75 worth of empties from Crazy Charlie the Can Man's shopping cart as his fine?


I can already hear the cries of discrimination.  "Poor family of 8 living in a squalid motel room is fined for having a stolen shopping cart"


Rome is burning and this is something worth worrying about?  They need to shelf this one with the train whistle issue.


Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Feb 28, 2018 08:35

Shopping Carts ? Really that’s what these people are worried about? ... they have bigger fish to fry ... Good Lord

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 28, 2018 08:58

I just took this picture behind Cardi's.  Maybe we can catch them!  Quick, before they disappear out back into the dreaded homeless camp.

Posted by: Rosebud | Feb 28, 2018 09:03

Seriously?  Shopping carts?  As the headline?

Posted by: shop247 | Feb 28, 2018 09:31

WOW!  If we are focused on shopping carts, they must have fixed all of the real problems in town.  GET SERIOUS!  We have enough to worry about.  Stray people, stray pets...stray carts?  Really?  What bull!  The missing carts are stolen, prosecute the criminal.  Don't hold the store accountable.  The store is a victim of a crime, how are they responsible?  What's next all carts will need gps trackers. I can;t believe that the Selectmen had nothing better to do than to come up with this one...

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Feb 28, 2018 10:48

I can't believe that there is talk of closing a school and this is what we are concerned with? Shameful!

Posted by: Swifts_Sheriff | Feb 28, 2018 13:06

No wonder why the town is in the financial disaster it’s in ... Shopping Carts ... too funny

Posted by: montana20 | Feb 28, 2018 14:16

I'm  so enjoying reading these comments. Everyone has good points.  However. Every bit helps. I myself detest looking at these carts. I've called Stop and Shop a few years ago and complained and they honored it and retrieved carts from Onset. Again, every bit helps.

Posted by: TOOTTOOT1 | Feb 28, 2018 14:46

I bet you won't find Aldi's carts around.

Neat deposit system they have.

Posted by: | Feb 28, 2018 15:34

Yes Sadie, I've notified the town twice.


Posted by: | Feb 28, 2018 15:34

Yes Sadie, I've notified the town twice.


Posted by: | Feb 28, 2018 15:34

Yes Sadie, I've notified the town twice.


Posted by: | Feb 28, 2018 15:35

And I answered three times.

Posted by: Warehamlifer | Feb 28, 2018 16:04

If this passes lol they should have a bylaw to have the liquor stores charged for all of the nips around town,it's not the stores fault,it's the folks that live across from the water wizz that can't see to return the carts also not stop & shop !!!!!

Posted by: Rjnjr09 | Feb 28, 2018 18:35

Stores should pay $1.00 per cart returned   problem solved. people would be trying to collect as many as possible.

Posted by: Rjnjr09 | Feb 28, 2018 18:35

Stores should pay $1.00 per cart returned   problem solved. people would be trying to collect as many as possible.

Posted by: rhbinma | Feb 28, 2018 18:49

HAHAHA maybe the town can collect them and hold them for ransom


Posted by: Linda | Feb 28, 2018 22:14

Trying to keep up with Aldi's I guess.   Have police, fire, municipal maintenance, harbor masters call the station when they find a cart, let the station call the stores.  These folks can't afford a car or taxi to get home with their groceries.  I'd love to see stores or thieves charged and taken to the judge would roll on the floor laughing.  Bowen is a joke for town council ($$$$)!  All you people are doing is nickel and diming us to death.  We have to pay even more $ to go to our own beaches.  You want to close a school to save $ to save jobs. Then why did you give overpaid Shaver-Hood a 2% raise - undeserved. Great - get rid of the asst. principals, save $.  Let's look at town hall's salaries - cut where you can. I hate walking in and watching two people talking nonsense and one working hard.   Wareham is different, we aren't a city - we are a seaside summer village.  Whatever happened to looking out for one another instead of taking everything we have?!    Thanks for letting me vent!!!!!












Posted by: bob | Mar 01, 2018 12:08

Linda,You got that right,how many resort community close town hall every Friday,how many towns have a full time attorney sitting in on selectman meetings,and on and on it goes in our little town....

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Mar 02, 2018 00:14


Posted by: bluebird | Mar 03, 2018 12:44

Seems shopping carts are a problem in Dartmouth too!


However, I feel that the stores should be encouraged to take measures to prevent the theft of carts, but not be penalized when carts are stolen by customers. Not sure if any were ever produced, but I recall many years ago reading about a device that would collapse the front wheels of a cart, making it useless if the cart were removed from a certain perimiter of the store (once yo uleft that sensored area, the front wheels fell off) Afterall, they are incurring an expense already for the "lost" carts since they have to pay to replace them. I remember when I was a kid seeing pick-up trucks around town (mostly where I grew up in Attleboro, but probably in Wareham as well.) periodically going around picking up the carts to return them to the stores. In those days most grocery stores were locally owned, often small chains owned by a local company, not huge, National or regional corporations. On a related note, I often wonder about those shoppers who leave carts loose in parking lots (not in the provided corrals, but often blocking spots, especially handicapped spots!) what they would say if a loose cart scratched their car? I'm not refering to parents with infants who  

Posted by: bluebird | Mar 03, 2018 12:51

OOPS! hit post before I finished!

I meant to say, that I can understand that maybe a parent with an infant might need to leave a carriage next to their car t oavoid leaving the child alone in the car, or an elderly person might need to leave the carriage, but it isn't these persons that I see doing it. It also is interesting how many people will walk right by a cart in the parking lot, then grab one as soon as the enter the store! Why not help keep carts from blocking spots (and possible rolling into cars?) by simply taking one in from the parking lot to use? If it is raining, you could still bring it in and leave it with the other carts to dry. Bringing carts in was part of what my Parents and Grandparents always taught me.


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