COFFS Harbour Mayor Denise Knight has begun a campaign against feral shopping trolleys.
Cr Knight will write to Coles, Woolworths, Big W, Aldi, Target and IGA urging them to install coin-operated trolleys or electronic trolley locks following approval from her fellow councillors for a motion she put before Thursday's council meeting.
The mayor said it was a neglected issue and she had spoken to the mayors of various other cities and municipalities about strategies to deal with abandoned trolleys, as well as telephoning the shops named.
"We should have done this years ago," Cr Knight said.
"Ipswich confiscates trolleys and fines (shops) $5500 per trolley.
"This is a letter of warning - they have to clean up their act."
Cr Knight said many of the mobile metal shopping carts that were abandoned on the streets eventually ended up in creeks and waterways, increasing the risk of flooding.
She said shops rarely took responsibility for them and it was sometimes left to council resources to retrieve and dispose of them.
She said she was sure members of the Tidy Town committee were becoming distressed at the shabby appearance trolleys gave to streets and parklands.
Cr Nan Cowling, the prime mover of the Tidy Towns committee, said she doubted a letter would achieve the objective but agreed the collection of trolleys was inefficient.
Cr Keith Rhoades said there seemed to be the opportunity for a lucrative business on the side and he would like to see that included in the dialogue.
Cr Mark Sultana asked if there had been any trolleys found belonging to smaller fruit shops or Bunnings.
"We will start with the big ones," Cr Knight said.
"This is step one - I have a follow-up and I will keep pursuing it. I have a plan."