Wareham business owners to face fines for stray shopping carts

By Matthew Bernat | Apr 23, 2018

Wareham business owners must take measures to corral stray shopping carts or face $100-a-day fines following a vote at Town Meeting on Monday.

The bylaw was drafted by the town’s attorney Richard Bowen after he reviewed more than a dozen similar bylaws across the country. Under Wareham's bylaw, business owners must tag shopping carts to identify them. Police officers and health department agents will then notify business owners if carts are found discarded. Owners must then retrieve the carts or face a fine.

Before the vote, some questioned whether the bylaw should be studied further.

“When did the Board of Selectmen meet with store owners to discuss this kind of draconian bylaw?” asked Nancy Miller. “There’s other options than bringing a hammer down on their head.”

Voter Sandy Slavin agreed, asking why was there no public hearing before Town Meeting. She also questioned if it was the best use of police officers' time to check roadsides for stray carts.

“I would have preferred to have this out in the open and discussed,” said Slavin. “I like the idea of controlling the carts, but it’s not clear how it’s going to happen.”

Selectman Patrick Tropeano, who spearheaded the bylaw, said carts have been a problem for years. This was an example of local leaders attempting to address the issue in a swift manner, he said.

“This is just trying to get people to take control of their carts so they don’t end up on the sides of roads and in ditches,” said Tropeano. “It seems government needs to be proactive and work a little faster than it does.”

Comments (19)
Posted by: thkng60@yahoo.com | Apr 24, 2018 05:58

Maybe the stores could designate a certain amount of carts to the area mobile parks.There is a need for these people who can't carry a lot of bags.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Apr 24, 2018 06:33

Mr. Teitelbaum's statements regarding this were elitist and insulting. He's clearly never had to carry groceries without a car or money for a cab.

The requirements placed on businesses effective today are very costly. There was no discussion of a phase-in or grace period.


Posted by: WWreader | Apr 24, 2018 06:50

I didn't hear any elitist or insulting comments. So you are saying it is ok for people to steal grocery carts for personal use and leave them abandoned on the roadside. Did you miss the part about the extensive research done and that many communities have similar rules? Or did you miss the woman who said her son was a manager at a Walmart who has to send employees out to get abandoned carts? That's the point. The stores need to collect their carts or be fined. Wareham will be cleaner.

Posted by: sadie | Apr 24, 2018 07:37

Gatra provides transportation to and from grocery storesfor seniors. They pick you up at your home and drop you off at your home

Posted by: Uptohere | Apr 24, 2018 07:40

I listened to Teitelbaums comments and they did come off as less then professional, especially when he commented on there being a billion carts out behind walmart. I  believe it was Mrs Slavin who corrected him with the number 12. Maybe its the practice of lawyers to stretch the truth to achieve their desired results. Unfortunately, this seems like a bad idea when we are trying to bring in new business and we punish the few we have now. Plus the condescending manner in regards to his remarks against wanting to study this further were definitely uncalled for. It came across as rushed and secretive.  lets not fall back into bad habits.

Posted by: WWreader | Apr 24, 2018 07:55

Exaggeration for effect is not stretching the truth. No sane person in the audience believed there were a "billion" carts behind walmart. It was in jest, not at all unprofessional. All the other towns with these same rules seem to survive. I've been to stores where you can't even get out of the store with a cart because of a big pole attached. I have also been to stores that have an electronic field, like the ones people use for dogs. Only the wheels lock up. The businesses actually lose a lot of money for each cart that costs hundreds of dollars. Rushed and secretive? He supported further study. I guess some people see what we want to see and hear what they want to hear.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 24, 2018 08:06

Shopping carts don't roll easily over railroad tracks or through the woods.  I'd bet there are very few shopping carts off of paved surfaces behind the old Walmart.


That supposed homeless camp back there has diminished since Walmart moved anyways.  Everybody keeps talking like it's 5 years ago.  It's not what it used to be.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Apr 24, 2018 09:22

"Stealing" is not ok. The mobile home parks and motels are harboring stolen goods! Trash is not ok. We don't have the person power to tag carts then make calls to the stores. If carts are so valuable why aren't they collected now? The cost of this cart retention requirements will be big. I thought republicans liked smaller goverment. Pet projects fly through the wheels of goverment quickly.

Posted by: cranky pants | Apr 24, 2018 12:24

Translation... It's not the fault of the people misusing the cars, it's the people providing the carts that are the real culprits.

It's not my fault I was speeding, it's the responsibly of person I got my car from.

Posted by: WWreader | Apr 24, 2018 12:59

If someone steals your car and abandons it on the side of the road, and it gets towed to an impound lot, you, the owner is still responsible for the property and have to pay the fee to get your car back. No one said that if the cops see someone in the process of stealing a cart that the person who stole the cart would not be punished. The stores are responsible for their own property. But here's the thing. If the stores contain their carts there will be no fines. And no unsightly carts on our streets. Simple.

Posted by: Uptohere | Apr 24, 2018 13:10

Yes WWR, you are right about people only seeing and hearing what the want. You'e proven that.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 24, 2018 14:11

How many Aldi carts end up going stray?  Does that 25 cent locking mechanism work?

Posted by: wtbarber | Apr 24, 2018 20:07

I'll gladly remove them from the marshes/woods, if I can bring them somewhere.

Posted by: Peaches0409 | Apr 24, 2018 20:48

WBTS, I shop at Aldi often and the quarter thing most definitely works. I've never seen a stray cart in the parking lot.

Posted by: Uptohere | Apr 25, 2018 09:01

I reside in a local mobile park and there has NEVER been a shopping cart left in the park or on 28. So don' put that crap on the local parks.

Posted by: shop247 | Apr 25, 2018 10:00

This is RIDICULOUS!  It's another MONEY-GRAB for the town.  I've been a resident for over 30 years and I can count the number of times I've seen a cart outside of a shops parking lot.  The few times I have seen a cart on the move, it's been someone lugging their groceries home.  Once, I witnessed a group of tweens playing, pushing each other in a cart on a town road.  I cannot imagine that this is an issue SO BIG, that it requires legislation.  With all that's wrong in the town, on THIS, the BOS concentrates?  I don't have the words....

For the record, I never return my cart at Aldis.  I don't mind paying $0.25 for convenience.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 25, 2018 10:13

Uptohere - the fact that there has never been a cart left in your park probably means that you live in a nice park in which residents have their own cars and care about the place. I agree with your observation. It is unlikely that carts would be in nice parks.  Nice parks with nice mobile homes are no different than nice neighborhoods with nice houses.  I've worked in many of the parks as a handyman.  I recall first hand that the parks are like night and day.  It is rather unfortunate for those that live in the nicer mobile parks to be associated with the not so nice trailer parks in town.


Take for example the not so nice trailer park next to Silver Lake Motel.  I just went on Google Earth Street View and there are several shopping carts visible in front of a trailer to the right of the Silver Lake Sign and several more shopping carts visible to the left of the sign.  I couldn't have photoshopped a better example. If the evidence is visible on Google Earth, it proves some validity.  It's actually a little bit uncanny that the shopping cart issue is demonstrated on Google Earth!   I tried to insert the picture to my comment but I couldn't.  I was able to attach the picture to a discussion.  Check it out.

Posted by: Uptohere | Apr 26, 2018 20:09

Wbts, a nicer park, that' funny compared to comments I've read on how low mobile parks are and the people that reside in as well as comments on us not paying our fair share of taxes. Still, finding a picture on Goole earth of a couple of carts near a park is not evidence that those residents used them. That would be an assumetion as well as that ignorant post of having stolen goods.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Apr 26, 2018 21:43

Uptohere- yes, nicer park.  What's wrong with saying that?  I know people in one off of Charlotte Furnace.  It is very nice in there.  That's also one of the parks that I used to work in when I was young.  Everything is neat and well kept.  Nothing wrong with that.


True, the Google Earth picture doesn't prove the carts were there because of the trailers.  But it sure as heck shows that we have stray abandoned carts along rt 28.

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