A year ago we received a message from Tom James, who has led the effort to keep Novato clear of graffiti for the past few years. He and a few other volunteers set their sights set on gathering up abandoned shopping carts.
James received help from Toni Shroyer, a real estate agent and public advocate; Dave Meyers, head of the city's maintenance division; and Gloria Morgan of that department. Dozens of carts were returned to stores.
There appeared to be an influx of random carts in the Scottsdale Pond area over the past few days. Concerned residents such as Janet Tighe and John O'Malley recently contacted Patch to see what could be done.
"The abandoned shopping carts stuffed with trash are a loss to merchants," Tighe wrote. "Let's hope and trust those same carts are thoroughly washed before customers unknowingly use them. Shopping carts and household trash left at the park suggest that some people cannot afford transportation nor the services of Novato Disposal."
Another resident, who preferred to remain nameless here, sent the following note to Meyers at the city maintenance office:
"Our neighborhood is important to us. We all take pride in living here in Novato. This looks terrible and reflects poorly on our community as well as the City of Novato. Please take the necessary measures and have these carts removed from the area."
Then on Monday, the President's Day holiday, somebody swept in an cleaned it up.
"Every scrap, furniture, shopping carts and God knows what else, has been cleaned up and taken away," Tighe wrote Monday night. "That's a very timely response, and whoever is responsible for following through has my gratitude. Case closed."
If it happens again, you don't have to wait until the situation gets bad before taking action. You can take the pressure off the city and just pick up the phone. If you find a shopping cart anywhere but the store lot where it belongs, give a call to the one of the numbers below. Most shopping carts are clearly marked with the owner’s name. Be prepared to let the store contact know where you have found the shopping cart so they can send someone to pick it up.
Remember, you don’t have to do anything more than call the responsible store. Don’t take the cart home with you as this could only add to the problem: Someone else may have already called in the location.
The following list is organized alphabetically by store with a contact phone number. Just ask for a store manager. All numbers area code 415 unless noted.
- DOLLAR TREE (Novato Fair)
- DOLLAR TREE (Ignacio)
- GROCERY OUTLET
- HARVEST MARKET
- PARADISE FOODS
- PET FOOD EXPRESS
(510) 347-7777 (home office)
- PINI ACE HARDWARE
- RITE AID
- SAFEWAY (Hamilton Marketplace)
- SAFEWAY (Novato Fair)
Novato police ask that people call stores rather than police when seeing somebody pushing a shopping cart anywhere besides a store parking lot.
When this story ran in 2012, Matthew James Dodson added this:
California Shopping Cart Retrieval Corp. picks up abandoned shopping carts for the Novato-area CVS, Safeway and Savemart. The fastest way to get a driver dispatched to those stores is to report the location to www.cartretrieval.net or download the CartSnap iPhone application from the Apple App Store.
If you have more information to add to this list, leave a comment.