In response to the ongoing issue of abandoned shopping carts, Fort Worth City Council approved a new ordinance Feb. 28 that will hold retailers responsible if they do not act quickly to remove shopping carts that have been taken from their property.

According to a city press release, council recognizes retailers are responsible for managing their shopping carts, but also can become victims when carts are taken from their property. They directed city staff to research best practices and discuss the issue with store owners and managers.

“All of the retailers, big and small, they all want to do the right thing,” Code Compliance Director Brandon Bennett said.

According to the city press release, under the proposed ordinance, if a resident reports an abandoned shopping cart, city staff will call the store and ask that it be picked up.

“Historically, this has worked well,” Bennett said.

If the cart is not picked up within 24 hours, city officials will pick it up and store it at a drop-off station. Store officials will need to pay $50 to retrieve the cart from the drop-off station. If the cart is not picked up after 30 days, the city will dispose of it, according to the city press release.

If a store has 15 or more abandoned carts in six months, the city will require a shopping cart control plan, such as installing sensor-based wheel locks that prevent the cart from moving beyond the store’s parking lot, according to the city press release. Stores that have functioning wheel lock systems installed on shopping carts will not be charged recovery fees at drop-off stations.

To report abandoned shopping carts, residents can use the MyFW app or contact the City Call Center by phone at 817-392-1234 or by email.

The ordinance goes into effect July 1.