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ACT to push supermarkets to introduce coin-lock system for trolleys

Shoppers may be used to cashless purchasing, or even bring their own shopping bag, but coins will have a renewed value now the ACT has pushed major retailers to roll out coin-lock trolley control systems. 

The ACT Government has launched a "two-week blitz" on rogue trolleys abandoned in the capital and worked with major supermarkets and stores to adhere to legislative requirements to have trolley containment policies in action. 

The recent push means coin-operated locks are now in place for trolley at ALDI, Coles, Woolworths, Target, Big W and Dan Murphys.

Transport and City Services Minister Meegan Fitzharris said while containment systems wouldn't stop all trolleys from being taken away, evidence from other jurisdictions suggested the schemes did cause significant reduction.

"This is the result of calls from the public for more to be done to stop shopping trolleys being abandoned or ending up in our bush and waterways," Minister Fitzharris said. 

The minister's announcement mentioned electronic wheel locking systems, coin-lock operation and staff surveillance as methods for containment, however an ACT government spokeswoman confirmed no retailers were using electronic wheel locking technology currently. 

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In 2015-16 financial year city rangers managed 488 trolley complaints received through Access Canberra and "responses ranged from notification to seizure and impoundment," a Transport and City service spokeswoman confirmed. 

The spokeswoman said the two week blitz differed from regular enforcement. 

Increased attention would be paid by city rangers goal was to identify and retrieve as many trolley as possible early in the roll out of the scheme.

The public was also encouraged to report abandoned trolleys via the retailers' apps, such as trolleytracker.com.au, or through Access Canberra.

City rangers would use smart devices to report and tag trolleys found outside shopping areas and those not moved in a "timely manner" would be sized or impounded. 

"Where trolleys are not collected by retailers, city rangers will seize and impound them," Minister Fitzharris said. "Retailers are then required to pay a $123 fee to retrieve the impounded trolley."

The ACT Government did not provide details of how many trolleys had been impounded to date or the total cost of retrieval fines paid by major retailers in Canberra.