Supermarket trolley deposit

Last week Safeway Woolworths replaced all their trolleys as part of the makeover.

And they all require a deposit — a $1 or $2 coin.

Supermarket trolleys at Woolworths


‘Cos while I don’t usually use a trolley, when I do, I’m sick of them having wonky wheels because people have pushed them for miles and dumped them in the street, where they get damaged. I’m sick of finding them in the park, and in my street, and even at the railway station, clogging up the entrance ramp. And I bet they’re expensive to collect and repair, contributing to higher prices.

Hopefully the deposit will reduce the instances of them going missing.

By the way there’s a notice at the entrance which says the supermarket will have its grand re-opening on the 29th. A bit odd if you ask me, given they’ve kept trading while the renovation’s happened.

Maybe they’ll get the local member of parliament to attend. Whoever that is by then.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

17 replies on “Supermarket trolley deposit”

Someone in Dan Murphys today was complaining about a lack of trolleys. The checkout lass said that a crime syndicate was stealing them and sending them overseas and that they cost about $1000 each. Possible I suppose. Many Paris public bicycles ended up in South America. There is one in my work place car park that has now been filled with rubbish. I saw a broken one in a street, also full of rubbish. Foreign students here seem to think it is ok to leave them on the street in front of where they live, or at a tram stop nearest the supermarket. I suppose the car park trolley barrier system is not practical where the supermarket customers often park on the street.

I’m surprised you don’t see more supermarkets using the barrier system. You roll over a line on the ground and one of the wheels locks up completely.

It is however a pain in the arse if you can’t park in the car-park and then have to carry all your groceries the distance from the barrier to your parked car.

I used to take a trolley home when I first moved out and didn’t have a car :)

the coin thing sucks though – means you have to always remember to have one etc etc

Coles and Safeway (ok Woolies) don’t like to publicise it for some reason, but if you ask them, they will give you a little plastic disk the size of a dollar coin, but thinner. Its good because it fits in either trolley and its not worth anything so you can’t spend it on anything else. because its so thin, it fits in my wallet with no problem.

The problem is that $1 is worth a lot less now than it was when trolley deposits started showing up 20ish years ago. For someone earning $30 an hour, it’s the equivalent of 2 minutes worth of work.

Leaving a trolley by the tram stop down the road from the supermarket with $1 in it will only become more common as time goes on.

It seems possible to defeat the mechanisms too. I found one of these trolleys in a carpark a while ago and returned it to the rack, hoping to score a free dollar. But when I plugged it into the next trolley, nothing came out.

I have a trolley coin on my key ring so it’s not a problem. I think you have to buy the plastic discs but I’ve seen them at the registers.

Did they get any of the half size trolleys like Coles have? They’re my favourite cos I shop less than a regular trolley but more than a basket.

Our local SAFEWAY in Greensborough has just
abandoned the coin scheme after several months of complaints et al.

Only yesterday I used one without need of coin.
What are they up to elsewhere ???

Over at Safeway Heidelberg I’ve noticed they dropped the coin deposit a month or two back- they had the coin scheme for years prior.

I have to say its easier for me, even though they gave me a plastic disc (free!)- but I tended to forget that as well!

At this stage I havent noticed lots of trolleys abandoned in the streets, although obviously more abandoned in the car park.

You put the coin sort of partway in, then poke the slot with the bit that came out and jiggle the coin. Best done with a slightly worn coin. Not that I still return the trolley to the bay, I just do this for amusement. :)

Woolies at Centro Oakleigh have a swag of brand new coinless trolleys. A few minutes ago I was walking along Drummond St Oakleigh and a bloke passed me heading away from the shops with a trolley full of goods. Cheeky bugger, I thought. I felt like saying something but he probably would have thumped me.

I used to keep my own trolley under the stair in my block of flats – how else do you get slabs of beer & ice home for a party with no car?

I think the coin-trolley thing is usually a requirement of the local council, not the supermarket.

Is your Woolway going to be stupid like my local one and remove the bakery section?

The coin system never seems to stop people wheeling home trollies from woolies in Preston & dumping them. I do like the fact you can report it and win a $1000 though :-)

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