Shopping carts are being left abandoned across the city at increased numbers, which has become an issue of blight and public safety, according to the city. Photo courtesy of the city of Federal Way

Shopping carts are being left abandoned across the city at increased numbers, which has become an issue of blight and public safety, according to the city. Photo courtesy of the city of Federal Way

Federal Way to regulate shopping carts, curb blight with new ordinance

Retailers will be charged $25 fee per abandoned cart, $25 fee for disposal.

An ordinance designed to help curb the problem of abandoned shopping carts strewn throughout the city was passed by the Federal Way City Council during its Dec. 4 meeting.

For many years, the city has provided a retrieval service of abandoned shopping carts for free. The work was afforded through a volunteer program comprised of retired police officers and city-owned equipment. However, the age of the volunteers coupled with the amount of work has far exceeded the city’s ability to continue the program.

Unfortunately, shopping carts are being left abandoned across the city at increased numbers, which has become an issue of blight and public safety, according to the city. The proposed ordinance establishes incentives for retailers to prevent shopping carts from leaving their property, and it imposes fines when shopping carts are retrieved by the city and left unclaimed.

“We will no longer tolerate the blight of shopping carts littering our streets,” Mayor Jim Ferrell said in a city press release. “We have an obligation to keep our streets clean. We will be working with our retailers and our residents to help accomplish that goal.”

The proposed ordinance was drafted after input from area retailers over two meetings and based on research of neighboring city ordinances related to abandoned shopping carts.

The steps of the proposed ordinance are as follows:

The city of Federal Way will pick up abandoned shopping carts along rights-of-way, city-owned properties, and, when given permission, private properties.

Carts are then taken to a recovery location.

The city then contacts the retailers of the abandoned carts and informs them that the city will hold the carts for 14 days.

Retailers may pick up their abandoned carts, but will be charged a fee of $25 per cart.

If carts are not retrieved by the retailer, the city takes them to a salvage yard where for disposal an additional $25 fee will be imposed.

In its first year of removing shopping carts, 2010, Federal Way Police Department volunteers removed more than 1,200 carts. This year, they are on track to remove about 2,000.

Shopping carts can cost between $75 to $400, and it is estimated that the volunteer-based program has saved retailers about $2.25 million over the course of eight years, according to Brian Davis, Community Development director.

“Area retailers know that this problem is a public nuisance and presents various potential safety and health hazards here in Federal Way,” Davis said in the press release. “We’re grateful that they have been receptive and willing to come to the table to talk about solutions during the course of us generating this proposed ordinance.”

The ordinance will take effect on Jan. 7.

More in News

In this file photo, marchers make their way from Trinity Episcopal Church in Everett on Feb. 26, 2017. Muslim refugees’ admissions into the U.S. have declined by 85 percent since the Trump administration came into power in 2017, according to the International Rescue Committee. Sound Publishing file photo
Report: Fewer refugees settling in U.S. and Washington state

Admissions are on pace to only reach around one-fifth of their limit in 2019.

Federal Way woman dies in I-5 crash early Sunday morning

The woman has been identified as 29-year-old April Toor.

State patrol seeks witnesses in hit and run collision that injured Federal Way woman

Semi-truck caused the collision but failed to stop, according to Washington State Patrol.

Federal Way Farmers Market bustles | Photos

Even gray clouds couldn’t put a damper on the farmers market crowd.

Federal Way Mirror Scholar of the Month for June: Julia Stefanyuk

From planning assemblies to organizing library books, Lakeland fifth-grader always ready to offer a helping hand.

Grieving mothers unite at healing circle

“Federal Way is too small for our kids to be losing their lives,” said Alexis Broussard, whose teen son was shot and killed in 2018.

A high tide at Raymond’s Willapa Landing Park in Grays Harbor County, Washington. Sound Publishing file photo
On the West Coast, Washington is most prone to sea level rise damage

Report by the Center for Climate Integrity shows multibillion-dollar cost of battling back the sea.

Photo Provided by Naomi Parkman Sansome Facebook Page
Buckle up for another smoky summer

Wildfires in Washington will likely roar back this year and into the future.

The city of Federal Way recognized June as Pride Month for the first time in the city’s history at the June 18 council meeting. Photo courtesy of the City of Federal Way.
City recognizes first-ever Pride Month in Federal Way

Proclamation declares June as Pride month; mayor declines to display pride flag at City Hall to avoid creation of ‘political forums.’

Most Read