Covid-19: Asda trials new trolley washing machine

Asda has installed permanent trolley wash technology outside its store in Morley, West Yorkshire.

The machine coats trolleys in fine particles containing an antimicrobial solution, apparently leaving them clean and dry to the touch in seconds. Asda has made the move as a direct response to coronavirus crisis, as it looks to raise hygiene levels across its stores to halt the spread of Covid-19.

Developed by The WasteCare Group, the facility is water-less, runs on electricity, and uses an electrostatically charged mist to ensure that all touch points such as handles, rails, and child seats are sterilised. A single tank of the antimicrobial solution can sanitise up to 20,000 trolleys, with the process taking a total of 10 to 15 seconds, according to Asda.

Asda has positioned the technology at the front of the store to allow staff to pass nests of trolleys through en route to the main trolley bay.

Graeme Wightman, senior manager of store services at Asda, commented: “We know having a safe and hygienic environment to shop in is something on many customers’ minds right now.

“This trial uses new technology to ensure trolleys are thoroughly sanitised before use.”

He added: “We continue to make shopping safely a priority for customers, building upon hygiene measures already introduced like the provision of hand sanitiser for customers in our stores.”

Peter Hunt, chairman of the WasteCare Group, added: “We are pleased that the unit is now installed and in use at Asda Morley.

“It has been developed to support retailers in taking the next step to help customers shop safely. It’s great to see a retailer such as Asda leading the pack and trialling new and innovative solutions.”

In another response to the pandemic, Asda and Sainsbury’s have both announced small trials of virtual queuing in parts of their estate. With restrictions on in-store traffic in place because of the coronavirus, queues have been forming outside many supermarkets at peak times – and the grocers see virtual queuing as a way for people to register their place in the line and wait elsewhere for their convenience.