Houston leaders seek abandoned shopping cart round-up

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Potential city plan to clean up abandoned shopping carts

Abandoned shopping carts litter street corners in some Houston neighborhoods. City leaders told abc13 the issue is so problematic they plan to take action.

Council Member Mike Laster recently spent $18,000 of district funds on a pilot program. A person drove around Monday through Friday and picked up abandoned carts in public right-of-ways.

In a three-month span, a whopping 870 carts were collected.

Laster told Eyewitness News he wants to expand the pilot program into a city-wide project. He estimated the cost could hit $1 million.

Laster said he planned to pay for most of the program by charging stores a fee to reclaim their carts. He said abandoned shopping carts aren't just a nuisance -- they can be a public safety issue. He provided pictures which show shopping carts clogging up flood control drains.

"Every cart that they lose is a loss to their bottom line," said Laster. "It is in their best interest that we work together to not only reduce the blight, but also put that product back in their hands as soon as possible."
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