Makeshift shopping cart return stations at Jurong West HDB void decks

SINGAPORE - Quite a few residents near the Boon Lay MRT station have made it a habit to push supermarket shopping carts all the way to their HDB void decks.

Trolleys can be found littered around the nearby fields, some are abandoned by the road side, while others are neatly arranged at makeshift cart-return stations at the void decks.

Shopping carts can be found at the void decks of at least a dozen HDB blocks at Jurong West Streets 61 to 65, Lianhe Wanbao reported on Friday.

The majority of the carts came from NTUC FairPrice, but there were also carts from Prime Supermarket and Sheng Shiong.

A few people were seen pushing the carts from shopping mall Jurong Point to the housing estate across the road.

One young woman, who did not want to be named, told the reporter: "My groceries are too heavy to carry by hand. Everyone is doing it, so I don't think there's anything wrong."

Another man, who also declined to be named, said that he did not know the carts cannot be removed from the supermarket.

"I didn't know it's not allowed. I thought since I've put in a dollar, I can push it home," he told Wanbao.

Other residents said it was inconsiderate to do so.

Miss Wang, a 26-year-old accountant, said the problem has worsened since the opening of NTUC FairPrice Xtra, which operates 24-hours, at Jurong Point.

"I often see supermarket employees pushing the carts back to the mall. The customers are too pampered, they take it for granted they can push the carts home," she said.

FairPrice said that their staff "start as early as 7am and end the day as late as 11pm looking for and retrieving trolleys".

The number of trolleys they retrieve from each store ranges from 50 to 150 trolleys on an average day and the furthest they have had to wheel them back was over 2.5 km.

NTUC FairPrice incurs an estimate of $150,000 annually on repairing, replacing and retrieving abandoned trolleys, a spokesman said.

The shopping carts belong to FairPrice, and the retailer can file a police report if they are not returned, FairPrice said.

chuimin@sph.com.sg