MAYOR MEETS S.V.P. OVER RECYCLING ISSUE
A meeting is to be held between Cork county mayor, Derry Canty, and the Society of the St Vincent de Paul (SVP), to discuss the ongoing controversy regarding the public tender process in relation to the collection of clothes from brings centres around the county.
SVP have said that the charity stands to lose up to €500,000 a year if another company takes over the recycling of unwanted clothes and other textiles which are collected every week from over 50 sites in Cork city and county.
The unwanted clothes are then sold in the SVP charity shops. At the Freds Charity Shop, located at the Ozanam Centre in Mitchelstown, staff and customers alike were fearful for the future of the service in the town.
“Times are hard for many people and the charity shop is very necessary for people on a budget,” one customer, who did not wish to be named, told The Avondhu.
Cllr Pa O’Driscoll (FG) said that the SVP should be allowed to maintain the tender for the operation of clothes recycling bins located at dozens of Cork County Council bring sites.
“This business generates €500,000 for the SVP each year. I understand that the county council is under financial pressure. We recently agreed to reduce expenditure by €32.7 million in 2010. But the SVP is also under considerable financial pressure, both in terms of reduced income and increased expenditure. They provide a service that the state cannot provide, and should be given our support at this stage, not threatened.
“I will oppose any move to take the clothes bank facility from the St Vincent de Paul, and would be surprised if any other county councillor took a different view. I will be raising it with council officials in the coming days,” Cllr O’Driscoll told The Avondhu.
However, Cork County Council has confirmed that they will not allow the tendering process to be interfered with.
“As part of the management of recyclable material in the county, Cork County Council, through a formal tender process, has sought to regulate the provision and servicing of textile banks at its 9 Civic Amenity Sites and the 79 Bring Bank locations throughput the county at which such a service is currently provided. CCC has invested up to €25m in the development of its recycling facilities over the years.
In order to ensure that the council can respond to market conditions, tendering for the provision of services for all recyclable material accepted is a normal part of the management of the service.
The tender process for the textile service is ongoing, and the council must ensure that this process is not interfered with. Once the process is complete, the council will deal with the impact on current providers of textile collection facilities at our recycling centres. The county mayor, Cllr Derry Canty has agreed to meet with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul to hear their concerns,” a statement read.
Speaking to The Avondhu, the county mayor feels that the situation with the tender has been blown out of proportion.
“We are guided by the environmental act in this situation. I think that the problem could have been dealt with in a far better way and I am led to believe that there are three to four other charities already tendering for the business. So we will await the results of the process.
“I think the lord mayor’s comments were unhelpful at this time. However, I have contacted the SVP and will arrange a meeting with them in the coming days,” county mayor, Derry Canty, told The Avondhu.
Friday 22nd January 10:39am