Lithium-ion batteries are becoming a common part of the daily litter in the city finding their way into the river and drains.
The batteries are part of popular single-use vape products that are not being disposed of correctly.
City resident Chris Moody, who is involved in clean-up projects in his local area said he finds them in the River Bride as well as in drain culverts and in one incident, found 50 single-use vape products that were discarded into the river.
Speaking to The Echo, Mr Moody said he was becoming frustrated with the situation.
“It’s a bugbear and it is out of control. I can’t see a solution. I clean it up, but I’m beginning to think, there must be a better way to deal with the problem.” Mr Moody suggested that perhaps manufacturers could be held responsible for their product's end of life and that certain items are banned, or a fine is implemented.
Mr Moody described the makeup of the items.
“The case is aluminium, the top and bottom is plastic, there is a lithium-ion battery and some electronics as well as a plastic case and sponge. There is no way to recycle them, despite them having recyclable parts. They are binned.” The city resident also highlighted that the batteries will presumably leak eventually, which would not be great for wildlife in the water supply.
As part of his cleanups in the city, Mr Moody said he has found car batteries and AA batteries in the river as well, along with electric scooters and up by The Glen park, he came across a motorbike in the river.
“I don’t know do people think of the impact of dumping.” Mr Moody said he has been cleaning up in Cork city for the past six years and it has been an ‘eyeopener’ about what is in our drainage systems and rivers.
The city resident said he also came across the polyester beads from inside a beanbag, flowing through the river, which he said, could be eaten by fish and/or birds.
“I also saw an iron once, buried in a bank, God knows what else is in there.”