The City of Strongsville will now confiscate abandoned shopping carts found left along busy city streets, under new legislation signed into law on July 2.
The law was unanimously approved by Strongsville City Council, led by Council President Joe DeMio, who believes the carts are a roadside hazard and have been caught rolling into oncoming traffic
DeMio believes retailers need to do a better job of keeping track of their carts and said abandoned carts are a growing issue along Pearl Road, near the Walmart Supercenter.
DeMio said the new law would allow the Strongsville Service Department to confiscated the carts and store them in a city garage.
DeMio said if the carts aren't claimed by major retailers like Walmart, Home Depot or Lowes, seven days after the stores are notified, the service director can dispose of them, including sending them to a scrap yard.
"The carts are right there on the curb and that creates havoc," said DeMio.
"I think some shoppers, are waiting for the RTA bus, or they're just carting as far as they can, and walking from there."
Strongsville Ward 3 Councilwoman Kelly Kosek said major retailers need to do a better job catching shoppers who walk off store property with their carts.
"We don't want to have any accidents, we don't want anyone injured," Kosek said.
"Stores are going to have to take a harder look at it, whether it's with their monitoring, or whether it's sending somebody out at the end of the night to recollect their carts."
"One way or the other, it just needs a little bit more attention."
News 5 reached out to Walmart and Home Depot headquarters about their shopping cart policies.
Home Depot responded with the following statement:
“While our Strongsville store hasn't experienced a high amount of cart thefts, we appreciate the city's partnership in addressing this concern.”
News 5 is still waiting for a response from Walmart corporate offices.
Meanwhile, DeMio is hoping Strongsville's new law will also send a strong message to rogue shoppers, who remove the carts from store property and dump them along the roadside.
"Try to do their due diligence, and keep their carts in the safe area where they are supposed to be," DeMio said.