Press Club

Pentagon City Resident Takes to Twitter to Decry Abandoned Costco Carts

A Pentagon City resident has launched a social media campaign against abandoned Costco shopping carts, which she says are a persistent “eyesore” for the neighborhood.

Sarah Wohl started posting from the @CartsOfPCArl Twitter account on September 20, after walking around the neighborhood with her husband and finding it “comical” to see so many. She has tweeted about two dozen photos of abandoned carts in the week since the account launched — showing carts near apartment buildings, next to parking meters and outside restaurants.

“I’ve lived in Pentagon City for a couple of years, and since I’ve moved there, there’s always been Costco shopping carts everywhere, and it is an eyesore as you walk around,” Wohl said. “They’ll be by cars, by apartment buildings and blocks away from Costco. They’re kind of everywhere.”

NBC Washington reported earlier this year on residents’ renewed efforts to improve matters, including writing to Costco and documenting the abandoned carts.

And past online petitions have urged Costco to “take responsibility” for the carts left behind by their shoppers.

“These abandoned shopping carts create safety hazards and bring the overall image of our community down,” reads one petition from four years ago. “Please assist me in making our community a better place that doesn’t have shopping carts littering parking lots, store fronts, streets and our local park.”

Wohl said things haven’t improved, and that the responsibility must be shared between Costco and those who shop there.

“I think it’s because people live around there and don’t want to drive to Costco, but you can’t really carry bags of stuff from Costco home, so it’s easier to just take a cart and bring it home and then it’s a pain to bring it back,” she said. “Or people that drive from elsewhere may just take the cart to their car, which they don’t park in the Costco parking lot because that’s always a headache and they leave it by wherever they park their car.”

So Wohl decided to shine a light on the problem in her own way, using humor to highlight the neighborhood issue.

“It started as a silly thing, just putting it on Twitter, but it’s part of a larger problem,” she said.

For residents, visitors and businesses alike, Wohl said the sight of so many abandoned carts damages the neighborhood’s character.

“I think it detracts from the community and detracts from Pentagon City and Crystal City, because it looks like an eyesore and it looks a little trashy having these carts everywhere,” Wohl said.

A Costco spokeswoman declined to comment.

Photos via Sarah Wohl (@CartsOfPCArl)

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