Fort Worth Enacting Shopping Cart Ordinance


Shopping cart | Image by pixfly

The Fort Worth City Council voted recently to pass an ordinance meant to help manage the plethora of abandoned shopping carts left throughout the city.

In a news release, the City of Fort Worth said that the ordinance is meant “to regulate the abatement and enforcement of nuisance carts in public areas” and protect “public streets, neighborhoods, parks, and waterways” as well as other locations throughout the city.

The City outlined two main goals for the ordinance: “to support a clean and safe community, and to avoid impacting compliant businesses with regulations.” In order to accomplish these goals, the Code Compliance Department detailed steps it plans to take.

The Code Compliance Department will collaborate with stakeholders in specific areas, as well as encourage businesses to put identifiable markings on their shopping carts. These steps will help identify the shopping carts and make it easier to contact the business if a cart is removed from the store’s premises and abandoned.

After the ordinance goes into effect on July 1, business owners or their agents will have 24 hours to remove abandoned shopping carts from public spaces. If they fail to do so, they will have “the option to recover carts for a fee of $50 per cart from a convenient City Drop-Off Station within a period of 30 calendar days.”

Some carts will not be subject to fines if they are found abandoned and away from the store. Carts that are impounded and have a functioning wheel lock installed will not be subject to fines when collected by the business. 

This specification by the Code Compliance Department encourages businesses to install wheel locks on all of their carts and could help reduce the number of carts stolen.

Citizens can now report abandoned shopping carts on the Fort Worth website or by calling 817-392-1234.

In Dallas, abandoned shopping carts are immediately considered litter and disposed of accordingly, pursuant to an ordinance enacted in June 2016.

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