SUPERMARKETS which fail to collect dumped trolleys in Rushmoor will risk being "fined" from the beginning of next month.

The borough council has decided to crack down because some stores still refuse to take the problem seriously.

From May 2 the council's cleaning contractors will have legal powers to collect dumped trolleys and take them to a compound.

Supermarkets will be required to pay a fee, possibly £25 or more, to retrieve each one.

Ken Millington, Rushmoor's highways maintenance manager, said: "We've tried to solve the problem by talking to the companies, but we've had only limited success."

Scores of trolleys are still being left for long periods of time in streets, streams and other public areas.

"We accept that some trolleys are going to be dumped," said Mr Millington. "But we hope this scheme will encourage retailers to collect them quickly."

According to a report the council receives up to 15 complaints a week about trolleys abandoned in public areas.

In the past the council has tried to deal with the problem with a campaign aimed at encouraging shoppers to return trolleys to the store. But Jim Pettit, Rushmoor's highways chief, told the council cabinet: "Instances of abandoned trolleys remain high. "It is felt that a firmer line now needs to be taken to control the problem."