Woolworths has launched a new phone app that will locate lost trolleys that need to be return to the nearest store.

The Trolley Tracker app from Trolley Services Australia will allow people to instantly report an abandoned Woolworths or BIG W trolley. It will run alongside its already established Trolley Tracker hotline and website. The app uses the phone’s inbuilt GPS systems to locate the position of the trolley.

Head of Woolworths store operations, Ziggy Kwarcinski, said the app has been setup to make it easier for locals to report on stolen trolleys.

“It literally takes a few swipes from a smart phone and the exact location of the trolley will be reported to a local Woolworths trolley collection team,” he said.

Every time a customer reports an abandoned trolley they go into a draw to win a $1000 reward every month.

“Woolworths was the first retailer to introduce trolley collection teams and a national stolen trolley helpline and now we are the first to harness the power of smart phones to locate and round up lost trolleys,” Kwarcinski said.

Woolworths said that the collection and replacement of lost, stolen and abandoned trolleys cost around $50 million annually.

“Our experience is that many trolleys aren’t collected because they are remote from established trolley collection routes. The new Trolley Tracker app will work alongside the existing helpline to ensure more abandoned trolleys are reported to stores,” Kwarcinski said.