From the Desk of the Administrator


  • Pueblo City Council At-Large Vacancy.

Shopping Carts Causing Nuisance

Dozens of shopping carts from local businesses are being carted away from their stores each day and left behind at bus stops, open fields, on sidewalks, in residential areas, and just about anywhere else you could imagine. Some businesses are finding they cannot keep up with the number of carts that disappear, and the city is now receiving complaints on a regular basis that carts left behind all over town are causing blight in neighborhoods and other areas.
Shopping Carts
“This situation is fast becoming a public nuisance, and we’d like our citizens to know there is a cost associated with retrieving them,” said Jenny Eickelman, Interim Deputy city Manager. “We have found as many as 15 to 20 carts left behind at some locations, which is problematic from a public safety perspective as well as from a cost standpoint.”

The City of Pueblo wants the public to know that removing shopping carts from local businesses is a costly practice.

“Most businesses attempt to collect their own carts on a regular basis, either by hiring employees to do the job, contracting the service out, or purchasing special equipment that disables carts when they are taken off the property, and it stands to reason that businesses pass those costs on to their customers in the form of higher prices.” Eickelman added, “Some stores just can’t keep up. At some point it may become necessary for the city to step in and remove the carts ourselves, which is not a very good use of our taxpayers’ money, especially at a time when the city’s budget is so stressed. Because the city is understaffed, if our employees are out collecting shopping carts, it means that some other city service is not being provided.”

An alternative for our citizens may be the use of portable personal shopping carts, which can be purchased locally for as little as $20, they are light weight, collapsible, and are permitted on Pueblo Transit buses.
The City’s pedestrian recycling stations, each consisting of 3 receptacles, were installed throughout the community to provide disposal options for pedestrians only - those who are walking, shopping, sightseeing, or otherwise strolling along sidewalks and pathways. The stations offer disposal for single trash items, glass or plastic bottles, beverage cans, and newspaper, sorted in the appropriate containers.

The City of Pueblo wants the public to know that the pedestrian recycling stations installed on walkways throughout town are not designed to accept bulk recyclables and should not be used for bulk drop off. Bags of recyclables placed alongside the stations are not collected by the maintenance contractor or taken to a recycling facility. The City has the burden of collecting those dumped bags, which are then disposed of at the landfill. All recyclables and trash must be deposited within the bins. Anything left in bags or boxes alongside or stacked on top of these recycling receptacles is considered litter.

The Pueblo Police Department is stepping up its enforcement efforts to help reduce illegal littering or dumping of household items left on or around the pedestrian recycling stations. Leaving bulk items outside of receptacles is an act of littering or illegal dumping, which carries a municipal fine of up to $1,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 1 year, or both.

To find out how and where to drop off bulk household recyclables, contact the Pueblo City-County Health Department on the Recycle Hotline at 719-583-4924 or view the Pueblo Area Recycling Guide on the web.