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Neighborhood fights to clean up abandoned shopping carts

Posted at 5:55 PM, Mar 17, 2017

The Macfarlane Park Neighborhood Association is fighting to clean up their streets, tackling what they call a huge problem, abandoned shopping carts.

"The litter problem is a huge issue," Missy Martin, president of the association, said. 

One of the more popular places for the carts to be ditched is on West Spruce Street near North Dale Mabry Highway near two bus stops.

On Friday there were 6 carts, mostly from Walmart, but one was from PetSmart and another was from Whole Foods.

"And that's a low number," Martin said. "Over the weekend, that can triple."

"It's hard to say that (they're ditched by people) just to get on the bus, because we see these carts inside the neighborhood also," she added.

Martin says she sees people pushing their kids, pets and groceries in the carts down streets a mile away from the Walmart and shopping areas. She continues to see carts abandoned on the side of West Tampa's roads, in parks and in yards. She says she's been fighting for a solution for years.

"Just calling the city and complaining. And calling stores like Walmart and Target and Home Depot, the big box stores, begging them to come pick their carts up," she said.

She now says the Walmart store on Dale Mabry is listening.

"We finally got a manager at Walmart who understood the impact on the neighborhood and they're (going) to implement the locking systems on the carts coming next month," she explained.

Walmart didn't confirm the move to ABC Action News, but several stores have taken similar steps by installing wheels that lock up when a cart is taken past a certain point.

Martin says other neighborhoods seeing the same issue should be persistent, organize a group and push other local stores to do the same thing.

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