After receiving several calls from residents complaining about shopping carts strewn around the neighborhood near an Albertson's supermarket, the City Council this week cast about for solutions to cart clutter.
Mayor Candace Haggard asked city staff to look into what other cities have done about the problem.
Costa Mesa, for example, decided to hire a private firm to collect and return the carts.
San Clemente Public Works Director Mike Sorg said the city has surveyed the residential area around Albertson's, located at 602 N. El Camino Real, and found between three and 20 carts.
The store's new manager appears to be open to ideas, said Sorg.
Suggestions Sorg and members of the audience at the council meeting included:
* Using a pay rack for carts that would refund customer's money after they finished shopping.
* Spacing poles outside the supermarket doors to prevent carts from leaving a loading area. The store would post an employee in the loading zone while customers went for their cars.
* An electronic system that would lock the cart wheels if someone tried to push it outside store premises.