Cart Ordinances

Yakima, WA

Yakima, WA


6.27.010 Purpose. It is the primary purpose of this Chapter to provide for the prompt retrieval of lost, stolen or abandoned shopping carts to promote public safety and improve the image and appearance of the City. It is a further purpose of this Chapter to prevent the accumulation of illegally removed carts on public or private properties.

6.27.020 Declaration of Nuisance. Retail establishments provide shopping carts for the convenience of customers shopping on the premises of the businesses. Shopping carts that have been removed from the premises of the business and left abandoned on public or private property throughout the City constitute a public nuisance and a potential hazard to the health and safety of the public. Shopping carts abandoned on public and private property can create conditions of blight in the community, obstruct free access to sidewalks, streets and other rights-of-way, interfere with pedestrian and vehicular traffic on pathways, driveways, public and private streets, and impede emergency services. It is for these reasons that such lost, stolen, or abandoned shopping carts are hereby declared to be a public nuisance which shall be subject to abatement in the manner set forth in this Chapter, or in any other manner provided by law.

6.27.030 Exemptions. This Chapter shall not apply to shopping carts that are removed for repair or maintenance authorized by the owner or owner’s agent.

6.27.050 Shopping Cart Identification Signs and Notice Required.

A. Every shopping cart made available for use by customers shall have a sign permanently affixed to it that includes the identification of the retail establishment or owner of the shopping cart in accordance with RCW 9A.56.270 and YMC 6.68.200.

B. Every retail establishment shall post in a conspicuous location on the retail establishment property a notification to the public that unauthorized removal of shopping carts from the premises of the business and the unauthorized possession of a shopping cart is unlawful. The posted notification shall also contain the procedure to be utilized for authorized removal of the cart from the business premises.

C. Every retail establishment shall keep on file with the City of Yakima Department of Refuse a current telephone number and physical address at which the retail establishment may be contacted for the purpose of reporting the location of abandoned, lost, or stolen shopping carts.

6.27.060 Retrieval and Impoundment Procedures.

A. Impoundment with Notice. Enforcement personnel may impound an abandoned shopping cart which has affixed to it identification information as required by YMC 6.27.050, if the following conditions have been satisfied:

1. Location outside of premises. The shopping cart is located outside the premises or parking area of a retail establishment and is located on public property owned by or under the control of the City, or left on any right-of-way within the City, or on private property where the owner has consented to removal; and

2. Notice of the cart’s discovery and location is given to the shopping cart’s owner, retailer, or agent unless such notice has been voluntarily waived by the shopping cart’s owner, retailer, or agent; and

3. Failure to retrieve cart. The shopping cart is not retrieved within ninety-six (96) hours from the date notice is given. The ninety-six (96) hours shall be calculated using only days Monday through Friday and will not include weekend days Saturday and Sunday.

B. Impoundment without Notice. A shopping cart may be impounded without notice if one of the following conditions is satisfied:

1. Hazardous Location. If a shopping cart will impede emergency services, or the normal flow of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, City enforcement personnel are authorized to immediately retrieve the shopping cart from public or private property and impound it. If the cart has identification information affixed, the owner will be notified and given ninety-six (96) hours to retrieve the cart before a collection fee is assessed using the time calculation listed in YMC 6.27.060(3); or

2. Lack of Identification. If a shopping cart is abandoned and located outside the premises or parking area of a retail establishment and does not have the required identification information affixed thereto as required by YMC 6.27.050, City enforcement personnel are authorized to immediately retrieve the shopping cart from public property owned by or under control of the City, any right-of-way within the City, or private property with the consent of the owner; or

3. Evidence of a Crime. Any lost or stolen shopping cart as defined by YMC 6.27.040(D) may be impounded as evidence in a criminal investigation under YMC 6.68.200 or any other criminal investigation.
6.27.070 Fees and Disposition of Carts.

A. Impounded Carts. When a shopping cart is impounded in accordance with this Chapter, the City may charge a cart collection fee to the owner of a shopping cart. The fine shall be in the amount of $25 per cart and each cart collected shall constitute a separate violation. Any owner having installed a locking device on its carts which has been disabled by one other than the owner or his agent shall be exempt from the fine.

B. Disposition of Carts. The City may sell or otherwise dispose of any cart not reclaimed within seven (7) days from the date of notification to the owner or the owner’s agent of the cart’s discovery and location.

6.27.080 Severability. If any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause or phrase of this ordinance is declared invalid or unconstitutional for any reason, such decision shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this ordinance.

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