Come back, stray carts


Staff writer

Federal Way officials and grocery store employees are joining forces to round up all the vagrant shopping carts taken from the stores and abandoned in parking lots, apartment complexes and bus stops.

“Operation Go Cart” will begin at 8 a.m. next Tuesday at Celebration Park.

Teams will scour the city for the shopping carts, sort them at the park according to which store they belong to, and then return them to their owners.

This is the first year the city will lend a hand in a coordinated effort to get the carts back in the stores.

Top Foods manager George Cooper, who plans to participate in Operation Go Cart, said he rents a truck four times a year and drives around picking up carts himself.

Most of the carts he picks up are in apartment complexes, he said.

And while he sympathizes with shoppers who don’t have cars and can’t carry all the bags home themselves, he said he wishes the store’s patrons would return the carts. Generally, he said, shoppers who take them abandon them at apartments, where they end up filled with trash near Dumpsters.

Still, the majority of those he recovers on his quarterly trips are still in workable condition. He said he brings back between 30 and 45 carts on the days he goes looking for them.

Considering carts cost between $70 and $120 each, he recoups about $3,500 in missing carts. “That’s money,” he said.

Anyone with information about the location of displaced shopping carts can call city staff member Sandy Lyle at 661-4116 or Martin Nordby at 661-4121.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565,

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