Singapore – Cases of abandoned or unreturned supermarket trolleys in Singapore continue to be an issue, with reports noting that it is a problem costing supermarkets about S$150,000 a year.
The Municipal Services Offices (MSO), which functions under the Ministry of National Development, announced that it received 6,559 reports of abandoned trolleys last year.
Reports could be lodged through the MSO’s “Spot Abandoned Trolleys” feature in the OneService app.
The system was launched in April 2016 to address the prevalent issue. Abandoned trolleys from five supermarkets, FairPrice, Sheng Siong, Mustafa Centre, Giant and Cold Storage, as well as furniture chain Ikea, can be reported through the app.
“On average, the costs of repairing, replacing and retrieving unreturned trolleys is about $150,000 a year,” said an NTUC FairPrice representative to The Straits Times on Sunday (Jan 9).
According to a resident of Jurong West Street 65, shoppers would leave supermarket trolleys around the area, with the situation getting worse about three years ago.
“The residents are doing it only for their own convenience because they know that the staff from FairPrice will come to collect it,” he told ST.
A quick look on Facebook shows a couple of instances where shoppers either took home a trolley or failed to return one to its proper place.
“Some inconsiderate f**l, know how to push trolley to their convenience, dunno how to return. Instead parked (it) in front of our doorstep!” wrote a concerned Longvale resident in August last year.
In another Facebook post in January last year, a family was caught on camera “stealing” an NTUC FairPrice trolley.
According to the person who witnessed the scene, this wasn’t the first time the family had abandoned trolleys around the area.
Members from the online community responded to the news, wondering if it was possible to install a tracking system on supermarket trolleys to minimize the problem.
“We are a smart nation with a high density of CCTV, and yet we cannot solve this problem. Use the TraceTogether technology for the trolley issue, and we will weed out the bad eggs in no time,” said a netizen.
Among other suggestions provided by netizens include an alarm system or using one’s identification to keep track of the trolley borrower.
Meanwhile, others suggested imposing a fine, like what is done for food trays at hawker centres. “Anything that carries a fine and people will suddenly adhere,” said Facebook user Nadiyah Admad./TISG
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