Abandoned Shopping Cart Ordinance



In February 2023, the City of Fort Worth Council approved the Abandoned Shopping Cart Ordinance to regulate the abatement and enforcement of nuisance carts in public areas, to include but not limited to public streets, neighborhoods, parks and waterways.

What is the purpose of the Shopping Cart Ordinance?

In response to requests from residents and City officials, this ordinance is developed to help create a clean, safe community and to support our businesses that provide shopping carts to their customers.

Our Shopping Cart Ordinance is developed with two main goals: to support a clean and safe community, and to avoid impacting compliant businesses with regulations.


The Code Compliance Department seeks to help address abandoned shopping carts and to promote community cleanliness and safety through this ordinance by:

  • Collaborating with stakeholders which includes residents, businesses and City officials.
  • Encouraging businesses to have identifiable markings on their shopping carts, in case they are removed from the business premises and abandoned.
  • Allowing 24 hours for abandoned shopping carts to be removed from public spaces by business owners or their agents, once identified.
  • Communicating with business owners to help them locate and retrieve their shopping carts easily.
  • Allowing businesses the option to recover carts for a fee of $50 per cart from a convenient City Drop-Off Station within a period of 30 calendar days.
  • Creating a defense for businesses that have installed and maintained functional sensor-based wheel lock systems to control carts.
  • A recovery fee shall not be assessed to any abandoned shopping cart that is collected and impounded, if the abandoned shopping cart has a functioning wheel-lock installed.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the City of Fort Worth actually doing?

When a Code Compliance officer finds an abandoned shopping cart in a public space, the Code officer will look for identifying markings on the cart, tell the business they believe owns the cart where it is, and request that the business pick it up within 24 hours. Code Compliance officers will ask to be notified when the cart is retrieved. If the cart is still there 24 hours later, then Code Compliance officers will retrieve the cart and take it to the nearest City Drop-Off Station. The cart will be stored for 30 days to give the business the opportunity to get the cart back.

How long does a business have to pick up their abandoned shopping carts?

If a shopping cart is found abandoned along roadways, waterways, parks or other public spaces, it will be tagged by the City. The City will notify the business that they have 24 hours to pick it up. 

What happens to carts that are picked up by the City?

After 24 hours, abandoned shopping carts tagged by the City are picked up and taken to a City Drop-Off Station. The business may pay a fee and retrieve their shopping carts.

If more than 15 abandoned shopping carts are picked up within 6 months, a Shopping Cart Control Plan may be required.

Do businesses have to pay a fee for recovering their carts?

Businesses may pay a fee of $50 per cart to retrieve their shopping cart. If the business has installed a functioning wheel-lock system a recovery fee will not be assessed for these impounded carts.

What happens to carts that are picked up by the City?

Businesses have the option to recover carts for a fee from a convenient City Drop-Off Station within a period of 30 calendar days.

What is a Shopping Cart Control Plan?

A Shopping Cart Control Plan may consist of sensor-based wheel locks or additional cart corrals, etc. to address the business' needs.

Questions? Contact us.

For questions regarding the Shopping Cart Ordinance, please contact the Code Compliance Department at 817-392-1234 or email 1234@fortworthtexas.gov.

Report it!

If you see a shopping cart that has been removed from its store and abandoned, please report it! 

Help your neighborhood store locate carts.
You can call the store by using the easy search tool and to help stores retrieve those carts.

Store Contact Search

If you see a shopping cart in a City park, please report it online or with the MyFW app. You can also contact the City Call Center at 817-392-1234.


Use the MyFW app to report an abandoned shopping cart in any public spaces, including roadways, neighborhoods, parks, waterways, etc.

The MyFW app is free and available in the Apps Store and Google Play



Download the Shopping Cart Ordinance information sheet.(PDF, 332KB)

Download the Shopping Cart Rack Card.(PDF, 794KB)