Yuba City has started a new campaign to address homelessness and urban blight. The "Clean and Safe" program began with city employees going out in the community to retrieve abandoned shopping carts. The search yielded more than 450 carts. Employees had expected to find about 200 carts.
Darin Gale is the Economic Development Director for the city. He says business owners had been complaining about the carts for some time.
"One cart is placed and the next thing you know, a brother, sister, cousin, aunt shopping cart seems to be attracted to them like a magnet and we'll find 20 at a time on a vacant parcel," Gale says.
Gale says about half of the retailers who have shopping carts in the city pay for a service to retrieve the carts when people call to complain.
Gale says the city will likely consider an ordinance making participation in retrieval programs mandatory.
"We find a lot at apartments. Many people go to the store and then take their shopping cart back to their apartment and never take them back. We see them next to recycling facilities. A significant amount are next to a recycling facility and then on vacant properties."
The City will contact the stores and will hold the carts for 45 days.
To replace the carts would cost stores as much as $136,000.
Unclaimed carts will be recycled.
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