English Supermarkets including Walmart owned Asda might get fines up to £20,000 if they fail to check customers dumping trolleys in nearby rivers. Recently an Environment Agency in its report revealed that 28 trolleys were pulled out of the Aylesford Stream and River Stour near the Asda supermarket in Kimberley Way in December. Following this Ashford Borough Council officers asked supermarkets to take action to stop customers from dumping trolleys in rivers. The charges these supermarkets would face will be relating to Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act which would pressure store managers to find ways to keep trolleys on site, and stop customers walking home with them.
In a similar incident in the North of England, a city council fined Tesco £20,000 for not addressing the problem of dumped trolleys. Ashford Borough Council officer Danny Regan said that in South Willesborough and Newtown community meeting new powers were being considered to get Asda to take action. “We could issue a community protection notice warning. This is a power which has recently been made available to local authorities. We will initially write a warning letter, followed by enforcement action,” he included. The trolleys create flood risks for residents in South Willesborough as they block branches and other debris in the water, creating artificial dams.
Mayor of Ashford, Cllr David Smith said Asda managers at the store in Kimberley Way have been reluctant to address the issue. The fine is believed to be imposed against individual offending shops, rather than the business as a whole, as a means of getting managers to act.