WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Walmart Neighbors Want Store To Keep Carts Out Of Creek

Play associated audio
The Walmart in Hybla Valley is the source of many of the shopping carts that end up in a nearby creek, and neighbors want the store to start doing something about it. 
Michael Pope
The Walmart in Hybla Valley is the source of many of the shopping carts that end up in a nearby creek, and neighbors want the store to start doing something about it. 

Neighbors in Fairfax County are calling on Walmart to help clean up Little Hunting Creek. One of the biggest offenders for creek pollution? Shopping carts that get lose from the super store's parking lot. 

Betty Scutt pushes her shopping cart through a ragged parking lot of the Walmart on Richmond Highway in Hybla Valley.

"Sometimes they are good, and sometimes they are bad, you know," she says. "You get a bad wheel or something. But what are you going to do? That's the way it goes."

Many of these carts end up in Little Hunting Creek, residents say. Robert O'Hanlon is a volunteer who has spent hours pulling all kinds of trash out of the creek.

"There's beer cans, there's syringes, there's Frisbees," he says. "There's everything that people just don't want to put in the garbage can, basically."

And a lot of Walmart carts.

"Ninety percent is Walmart's grocery carts, and then everything else is like 1 percent," says O'Hanlon.

Virginia Del. Scott Surovell, who represents the area, tried to introduce legislation that would force Walmart to remove their carts from the creek after seven days. That effort was killed in committee, so now he's trying to get the big-box retailer to install electronic brakes on the carts so they won't work outside of the parking lot -- technology that's already been installed at another Walmart nearby.

So far, it hasn't worked. None of the carts at the Hybla Valley location have wheel locks, although it is a popular idea in the parking lot.

One customer, Judy Shaffier, says she thinks Walmart should install the technology on the wheels, because it would help prevent the carts from rolling into people's yards and the creek.

A spokeswoman for Walmart says the retailer is currently looking at adding wheel locks, but she could not provide a date when the technology would be installed.


Reading Gaol, Where Oscar Wilde Was Imprisoned, Unlocks Its Gates For Art

In 1895, Wilde was convicted of homosexual activity and sentenced to two years Reading Gaol. Built in the mid-1800s, the facility was operational until 2013. Now, it's hosting an unusual art exhibit.

Trick Or Treat? Critics Blast Big Soda's Efforts To Fend Off Taxes

Several U.S. cities have sugary drink taxes on the ballot. As efforts to reduce soda consumption gain traction around the world, critics say the industry is using the tobacco playbook to fight back.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - October 21, 2016

Virginia’s online voter registration will be extended after a system crash. Montgomery County keeps Marriott headquarters local with big incentives. And Washington D.C. dukes it out with Washington state over their shared moniker.


Tesla Has Begun Making All Its New Cars Self-Driving

Elon Musk, Tesla's CEO, says once the technology is fully enabled, the cars will be able to drive with no human input. Musk says previously built Teslas can't be retrofitted with the latest features.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.