Seriously? Shopping Cart Chaos on Ivy Tech Dr.


The usual pile of shopping carts was collecting on Ivy Tech Drive this morning. Residents of Windridge and Presidential apartments will often borrow a card for the 1/2 mile walk home – then fail to return one on the following trip.

What makes this worse for Madison, the carts are usually turns over or scattered. Not a fun cleanup job.

We talked with a manager at Kroger about the situation. He said they have to fetch the carts a few times each week. The situation is not uncommon and he says most retail store deal with it. It’s just part of the grocery business.

On bright side to this story. The Walmart workers often will bring the Kroger carts along for the ride and leave them next to the parking lot. “We have some good neighbors,” was his take on the helping hand.


  1. Melissa Enstrom says:

    I don’t think the residents should take the carts either, but I think the bigger issue is why the carts are being taken to the complexes to begin with. Apparently, there is a need for transporation from the store with the items purchased. Imagine if you had to haul enough groceries to feed your children without adequate transportation. Many of the people living there have fallen on hard times with limited resources availble to them. Would we be willing to offer someone a ride from the store? Could there be a shuttle service availble to and from the complex?

  2. Tony Kummer says:

    Does anyone know if the downtown grocery store (Ruler) has the same problem with stray carts? I’ve never seen a pile outside apartments downtown.

    • Walter Long says:

      Ruler has the same system as Aldi where you have to insert a quarter to unlock the cart. Typically that system is the best deterrent to carts “walking away” from the store.

  3. Aldi’s system is great. Quite often you don’t even have to take the cart back because there is another customer heading in that you can “sell” it to.

  4. Having worked at the Kroger in Speedway,Indiana for nearly 9 years I can tell you that in situations where there is housing nearby,especially section 8 (public/government funded/subsidized housing) this is NOT in the least an unusual phenomena. I apologize if that seems as thought I am singling out those that live in such housing,but I can’t deny the truth. I worked as Utility Clerk (bagger) and part of my job very often was to go retrieve the carts that “wandered away”.. MOST,but NOT all,of our carts wound up on the grounds of the nearby section 8 housing apartments.

    It was not uncommon for two persons to make a return trip with nearly 20 carts (much more than that and it got unmanageable).

    THIS is one of many reasons why your groceries cost so much.
    Typical large size metal shopping carts can cost nearly $200 a piece and the large size plastic ones ar at least as expensive. Loss of carts or damage to them is cost that gets passed along to consumers.

    The store I worked for often paid persons from outside the store to collect the carts. There was always concern about whether it was more fiscally sensible to send employees after them or to contract with someone. ending an employee costs less cash but cost time and loss of manpower in the store (in my case it equaled one less bagger on a busy day).

    People don’t stop to think about the hidden costs of taking the cart ‘home’ with them. Taking the cart off of the property with you is theft and if the store chose to make an issue of it they’d be well within their rights,as it is it’s just so common that if they were to bother pressing charges for it with any frequency it would just become a greater nuisance that going after the carts themselves,and it wouldn’t change a thing.

    You don’t often see Ruler’s carts all over town,or the ones from Aldi. The quarter fee is annoying but it’s great deterrent.