Neighbors want to know why shopping carts are being left around downtown

Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 12:48 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2023 at 6:26 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - For more than a decade, neighbors in downtown Savannah have been dealing with shopping carts being left around town.

Gary Guthrie has lived downtown for 11 years. He tells WTOC he’s been experiencing the issue with the Kroger’s downtown location.

“One by one you’ll see them in different places around the neighborhood like at a trolley stop or a bus stop,” said Guthrie.

The first time WTOC reported this issue was back in 2013.

The city sent letters to several area businesses warning them to start gathering up their carts.

But it didn’t really help. 4 years later, in 2017, our WTOC Investigates team was back out in the city trying to get the mess of carts cleaned up.

This time, the city of Savannah took a different approach. Putting an abandoned shopping cart ordinance in place in 2018.

Laying out rules for stores.

Including employee training, putting a retrieval program together, and even laying out possible penalties.

“A few years ago they put in a system that the carts weren’t supposed to be able to leave the parking lot area,” said Guthrie “at least one of the wheels would stop moving, so it would be very difficult to move them after that point”.

Kroger also started a cleanup system like the ordinance suggested, but Guthrie says it’s become unreliable.

“They don’t come like every day, so the cart could be sitting out there for several days and just kind of looking junkie in the neighborhood,” said Guthrie.

According to a spokesperson with the City of Savannah, the Code Compliance Department received four reported cases of abandoned Kroger shopping carts since 2022.

We’re told once Kroger was notified, the carts were removed. And the city has not had any further discussions with Kroger concerning this.

“A lot of people would assume it’s the homeless and that’s not the issue,” said Guthrie “It’s shoppers, who take them to a certain distance and then they leave them”.

WTOC Investigates reached out to Kroger to see why the shopping carts were no longer staying in the paring lot and were scattered around town.

They sent a statement encouraging anyone who finds an abandoned Kroger cart in their yard or on public property to contact their store team so they can pick it up.

They also said if you notice the cart you’re using is not working properly, let a team member know so it can be fixed.