Man on a mission to collect abandoned trolleys upset at £2 voucher reward
IS THIS man off his trolley or does he have a point?
Michael McArthur, 53, has been collecting and returning abandoned trolleys to supermarkets for years in an attempt to clean up the area – and thinks he should be rewarded for his efforts.
If this all sounds familiar, it's because in 2005, we reported how he had once collected a batch of trolleys belonging to the former Netto store in Garibaldi Street, and had been rewarded with 24 cans of bitter by the manager.
But the next time, he was politely thanked and was refused any reward when he asked for one, so helped himself to a bottle of milk on the way out. He was barred from the shop as a result, but continued to collect the abandoned carts.
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When two Netto officials turned up at his Albion House home, he said he had no choice but to hand them over, but told the Telegraph he felt he deserved something in return.
Seven years on, and Mr McArthur is still on his mission to clean up the streets – and is currently holding about 30 trolleys hostage in the garages next to his home until the supermarkets they belong to offer him a suitable reward or collect them.
This follows his latest meeting with a supermarket manager at Asda when he was handed a £2 voucher in return for about 40 trolleys.
Most of those he currently has belong to that store, but there are also two from Sainsbury's and one from Marks and Spencer. He explained: "I was gutted when they gave me the £2 voucher.
"They even told me off for collecting them, but they make the place look a mess and get in the way of cars," said Mr McArthur.
He claimed the Garibaldi Street Netto store had gone on to give him Christmas hampers before Asda bought the chain and it shut.
He said: "Asda's attitude was 'why should we reward you?' but if that is the case, they can come and get them themselves.
"They said 'we can't reward everyone' – how many people do you know that keep 30 shopping trolleys in their garage to return to the supermarket?"
As well as collecting trolleys, Mr McArthur also picks up litter on all the green areas around Albion House and Nelson House then recycles the bottles and cans.
The volunteer, who likes the community to look "clean and tidy", has been collecting his latest horde of trolleys since Christmas.
He feels that supermarkets should do more to stop people stealing trolleys and leaving them lying around, making the area look "depressed".
An Asda spokesman said: "We take our responsibility regarding abandoned trolleys very seriously.
"We have a system called 'cart-tronics' which brings a trolley to a controlled stop when it passes over an invisible line to help combat theft and abandonment.
"We also do regular patrols to collect any trolleys that have gone astray in the streets by the two Grimsby stores.
"After hearing of Mr McArthur's concerns, the patrol team will make more frequent trips to his area, making sure they pick up the trolleys that he has been doing such a good job of collecting for us so far.
"We would like to thank him for his help – and if he spots any trolleys that have gone walkies, we would ask him to call the store manager immediately so we can arrange to pick them up."
What do you think?
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