UP to €3,000 a month is spent by the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul cleaning up rubbish dumped in their charity bins, including dead birds and engine oil containers.
Annually, the charity is spending €36,000 a year cleaning up other people’s rubbish, which is being dumped on top of donations, destroying the clothes.
Saint Vincent De Paul (SVP) volunteer in Cork, Brendan Dempsey, said: “We have a huge problem with people dumping household rubbish. It costs us €3,000 a month to get rid of other people’s rubbish, we could help a lot of people with that money. These individuals are squandering resources that are needed by people in dire straits.”
Mr Dempsey said they had a recent situation where someone dumped dead birds and dirt from an aviary in some of their clothes bins, along with empty drums of engine oil.
The charity spokesperson said that things have gotten better in recent years since they started using a new security system from Israel, which meant that children could no longer get into the bins.
“We had a situation a few years ago where a child had to be cut out of one of their bins by the fire brigade after getting stuck inside.”
SVP has 240 bins across Cork city and county that are supplying 33 shops and their recycling centre out at Little Island where they store books, furniture and clothes.
Mr Dempsey said the charity makes a gross profit of €2.1m annually through the donations they receive and said that this brings a net profit of €1.5m.
“That money almost covers the food supplied by Saint Vincent De Paul all year round, including Christmas,” Mr Dempsey said.
The charity has two 18 tonne trucks and five transit vans that go around collecting books and furniture from homes and taking them to the recycling centre.
“We recycle 25 tonnes of books every 15 weeks,” Mr Dempsey said.
“We recycle them to London where they are mushed up, fireproofed and used as insulation in cavity walls.”
The SVP spokesperson pleaded with people to stop putting their waste in the charity clothes bins.
“The money we make goes to support families in need and people in education. We could help a lot of people with that €3,000 a month.”