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Cart blanche

(article, Kim Carlson)

Even if you missed it on NPR’s All Things Considered last night, it’s not too late to hear about an Oregon state senator’s bill to set up a 24-hour hotline that citizens could call to report wayward shopping carts. 

Robert Siegel interviews Gresham Democrat Laurie Monnes Anderson about her bill, which would require grocers in the state to retrieve their shopping carts within 72 hours of being notified of a cart’s whereabouts. Senator Anderson says that the Northwest Grocery Association is behind the bill, which also addresses the concerns of neighborhood associations that are trying to cope with the nuisance of abandoned carts. 

The bill’s timing is impeccable, as, improbable though it may seem, this is National Return Carts to the Supermarket Month. Anderson, who says that the carts cost between $100 and $300, hedged a bit when Siegel asked if homeless people who use the carts to transport their belongings might be indirect targets of this legislation. “I don’t know if this will affect the homeless or not in taking a cart,” she said. 

Now if we only we can get our legislators to care as much about what’s in_ those grocery carts.