Dear Miss April,
I’ve been disturbed by an old grievance. Of late I have been witness to a number of abandoned shopping trolleys in my neighborhood. Some seem to have run ashore against some innocent street planting , some have been piling high with garbage outside shared student nests. I remember when these where the exciting opportunities for innocent larks and a mix of apparatus and human conveyance , mostly trundling friends freely and apparently loudly without regard for OH&S down suburban streets while fueled with inexpensive booze.
Now these devices are used joylessly to transport packaged products and children then dumped to full fill ther para function as a council trash receptacle. I had presumed corporations had spent millions to prevent these triumphs of consumerism from becoming street furniture. I had assumed they had invested into protected commodities with digital brakes and escalator runaway proof technologies to deter them from becoming public nuisances but i still see them upturned, vagrant and smoldering.
My question is who is in charge of these devices and what can be done to stop them litter our streets?
Dear Trolley Doldrums
Thank you for contacting me regarding such a tangible problem to which I can provide an altogether practical solution.
Firstly, I empathise with you greatly. I gather from your letter that you lament the design flaws that have led to this issue. Perhaps less design flaws, as lack of design solutions. How can this continue to be happening, how indeed? I was very surprised to learn of the extent of this issue, living as I do a rather sheltered lifestyle. The enormous amounts of money spent on trolley retention ideas is extraordinary and I boldly call out to all industrial designers – solve this and make your millions! Albeit not technically minded myself, surely there could be some sensory technology involved, whence the wheels of the trolley automatically stop turning once they hit the borders of the supermarket building and car park. Stop the wheels, stop the usefulness as a convenient form of alternative transportation.
However, our immediate problem is the littering of these metal creatures in our lovely streets. The issue of who is responsible I believe is answerable in two ways – both the business from where the trolley comes from, and once it becomes public litter it also becomes the local council’s responsibility.
Firstly, I suggest you try the following solution. If the trolley is from Safeway or Big W go to Trolley Tracker for more information. Report the dumped trolley and enter into a monthly prize draw of $1,000 cash! Therefore if you have a number of trolleys on your street, make separate reports to increase your betting chances – although I do wonder if this might be an incentive for the thieves too! If it is from Coles, alas they have a far duller system of filling out a form and no jolly cash prizes as far as I can tell. If it is from another business call them directly to report the trolleys, and always remember to get a timeframe for collection.
If you do not get satisfaction from the businesses in question contact your local council and report it as dumped rubbish. They are obliged to collect it and would most certainly have a report line, or perhaps even an i-phone app (goodness, these modern days!) to record and report illegally dumped hard rubbish. There are of course fines for the perpetrators, perhaps the next time you catch a culprit in the act you could pretend you are from the council and hit them for an on the spot fine? Do you have a hat?
As much as I considered offering witty creative suggestions for alternative uses such as the popular ‘create art out of everyday objects’ or ‘subversive re-use of discarded materials thereby making 100% recycled art’ I can not in good conscience do so.
Best of luck, I hope you are not in the doldrums for too long. Congratulations on your pro-active stance on insidious litterers.
Truly and in good faith