230 shopping carts go back to their stores


Staff writer

City officials are considering last week’s Operation Go Cart a success after staff members and grocery store volunteers rounded up more than 200 vagrant shopping carts in Federal Way.

Seven teams of two drove around the city from 8 a.m. to noon Aug. 26, concentrating on bus stops, apartment complexes and motels, where they found 230 carts. Considering they cost an average of $100 each, participants returned thousands of dollars worth of carts to local stores.

“I’m sure that’s only 85 percent of what we could have found,” city code compliance officer Martin Nordby said.

Just about everyone they came into contact with was cooperative, he said. The manager at Village at the Lake Apartments put a note in a newsletter that goes out to tenants, asking them not to bring shopping carts back to the complex.

The manager also corralled all the carts she could find, stowed them under a covered parking area and told city officials where they’d be, Nordy added. The Operation Go Cart team picked up 20 carts from the complex.

Nordby said some cities ticket people for taking shopping carts from store lots, but he said he wouldn’t want Federal Way to start penalizing people or grocery stores for the shopping carts strewn about the city.

Neither he nor the Police Department have time to run around looking for people taking shopping carts, he said.

Participants in Operation Go Cart said they understand the hardship some residents face with not having transportation and having a load of bags to carry home. Still, Nordby suggested people buy wire pull-carts for transporting home a heavy load. If nothing else, he said, those who push the grocery carts home should bring them back on their next trip to the grocery store.

Nordby said officials haven’t decided whether to continue Operation Go Cart next year, but said he was pleased with this year’s outcome.

“Now’s the time is to see if the stores themselves can be more responsive,” he said. “Hopefully it ends up being something where the stores and apartment complexes cooperate.”

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565,

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