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Brendan Dempsey, St Vincent de Paul, says the cost of removing the waste is money not spent on food for the needy.
Brendan Dempsey, St Vincent de Paul, says the cost of removing the waste is money not spent on food for the needy.
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Dumping of rubbish in clothes banks is costing St Vincent de Paul €24,000 a year

The St Vincent de Paul (SVP) in Cork are spending €2,000 a month disposing of waste in their clothes recycling containers and recently discovered the remains of a dead dog dumped in one.

Brendan Dempsey of SVP in Cork was commenting after reports emerged of three live kittens being found in a show box in a clothes recycling bank, which was not owned by SVP, in Douglas last week.

Mr Dempsey said SVP are losing even more in donations as residents in some areas are asking for containers to be removed due to the level of dumping around them.

“We have a huge issue with people dumping things in our containers. It costs the St Vincent de Paul in Cork €2,000 a month to dump rubbish - unwanted stuff that is absolutely useless to us,” he said, “We actually got a dead terrier in a plastic bag. You'd think somebody could bury it or dispose of it without putting it into a charity clothes container.

“It was an extraordinary incident. It doesn't happen every week but it shows you that there is a mindset out there from some people that it is alright to do this. They don't think about the people that actually need the service. I would ask people to consider others, the people who are actually in need - it's those that suffer for these acts.

“Last week somebody emptied windowsill boxes, three of four feet long, into one of our containers. They had the earth and plants still in them. We get all kinds of broken toys and broken ware. We've had dirty nappies and plastic bags of food waste.

“We've actually been asked to remove bins from places because the locals are complaining about rubbish being thrown around them...That's a huge loss to the charity,” he added.

SVP are powerless to fight back against the dumping as it is very difficult to catch dumpers in the act.

“If we get a bag full of tea bags or tea leaves, scrapings off plates, or a bag of dirty nappies, we can't go to the gardaí about it as they can do nothing. We are depending totally on people being decent and 99% of people are,” said Mr Dempsey.

SVP accept good quality used clothes and bric-a-brac. However, duvets and pillows are not wanted.

“If you are using our bins to dump unwanted rubbish then you are actually taking food off people's tables. We'd buy a lot of food for €2,000 a month,” said Mr Dempsey.

Mr Dempsey praised the generosity of Cork people who have donated re-usable items and said they make a significant contribution to their services.

“The number of people that come into us with clothes that are washed, ironed and wrapped up beautifully is amazing. People go to huge bother to give us good stuff and we're very grateful,” he said.

“What we made out of clothes last year actually fed the city. We spent close to €1m on food last year, so we are depending on it,” he added.