What the Chesterfield Township board is doing to stop stray shopping carts from piling up at bus stops

Township board passed ordinance requiring stores to either get their carts or pay $25 per three-pack

A drive down Gratiot in Chesterfield Township means a lot of traffic. It is an unusual eyesore because the smart bus runs on that corridor where there are many shopping centers, and shopping carts find their way into large and unsightly piles. The township is saying enough is enough.

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A drive down Gratiot Avenue in Chesterfield Township means a lot of traffic. Still, lately, it is an unusual eyesore because the smart bus runs on that corridor where there are many shopping centers, and shopping carts find their way into large and unsightly piles.

The township is saying enough is enough.

Local 4 Business Editor Rod Meloni sat in a smart bus stop kiosk at 23 Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue. While there, he said many people’s only concern was whether the busses were running on time, but in the township, the plethora of empty shopping carts is concerning, which the township board decided it needed to handle.

They create their own ungainly makeshift wire fences and multicolored shopping carts from many different stores, Meijer, Hobby Lobby, PetSmart, and JCPenney as they continue to stack up around bus stops.

Smart rider Michael Singleton isn’t a fan.

“I would like for them to not be here,” said Singleton. “Our town is messed up enough. People get creative with these carts. They have an extra spot to sit, I guess.”

It is believed that bus-riding shoppers roll their carts down Gratiot Avenue and hop on the bus, where they leave their cart behind and where they often collect trash around them.

Chesterfield’s Deputy Township Manager, Steve Duchene, said nobody likes the situation.

“Nobody likes it,” said Duchene. “Nobody says I enjoy driving down Gratiot to look at the stacks of shopping carts.”

The Township Code Enforcement staff had to collect the old carts and either return them or call the stores to get them.

But it gets old, especially after years of the same problem.

The township board passed an ordinance that will require the stores to either come to get their carts or pay to get them back, which is $25 for a three-pack.

“We’re certainly not going to create enough revenue to even offset the cost of continuing the enforcement, so it just is an incentive for companies to get valuable carts back as promptly as possible,” Duchene said.

Singleton gave his take on the new ordinance as his bus arrived.

“They got to do what they got to do, man, that’s how I look at it,” Singleton said. “Either y’all get rid of it, or it’s going to stay right here. Somebody’s got to do something.”

The ordinance was passed on May 24 and went into effect two days ago, but as you can see in the video player above, the carts remain at the bus stop.


About the Authors:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.

Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.