Since You Asked: ‘Rescue’ business picks up abandoned shopping carts

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Is it OK if I form my question as a rant? I have a business in Medford. Quite often, when I come to work in the morning, I find an abandoned shopping cart in our parking lot. These are often filled with stuff collected by homeless people. If I call the store whose name is on the cart, nothing happens. Usually after a week or so, I dispose of the contents of the cart and load it into my pickup truck and deliver it. So what is the protocol when you find a grocery cart?

— Mark C., Medford

Mark, we recommend you start by calling the regional cart fairy, NFM Cart Rescue, which rounds up abandoned carts for subscribing grocery stores, including Safeway, Fred Meyer, Albertsons and WinCo.

While Medford Public Works and Park and Recreation employees typically pick up shopping carts left in public alleys, parks and parking lots, those left on private property are the owner’s responsibility, explained Medford police Lt. Kerry Curtis.

If the cart belongs to a store that subscribes to NFM Cart Rescue, call 1-888-552-2787 to report the cart, and someone will pick it up and return it to the appropriate store. For all other carts, contact the store to see if they’ll pick it up, and if no one responds, it’s up to you to deliver or dispose of it.

Curtis asked that we remind you to take care when emptying a cart as they have been found to contain all manner of filth, and to drop them off at the back door of the store so they can be sanitized before being put back into circulation.

Medford police reported last week that about 100 of the Medford Center Safeway’s 250 carts currently are missing.

Each shopping cart costs between $200 and $500, Curtis said.

Carts left on public property also can be reported to the city of Medford Code Enforcement Division at 541-774-2016.

— Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to To see a collection of columns, go to We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.

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