Vincent's shop volunteer Derrick McGrath shows pile of dumped furniture
Night time dumpers are targeting the St Vincent de Paul shop in Portlaoise to offload their waste, and it is hurting the charity in the pocket.
Shop manager Phil Millar says that people are driving in behind the shop in the dark of night, and dumping old dirty mattresses and furniture.
The latest pile to be dumped is seen in the photograph, including several dirty mattresses, damaged old couches and old suitcases, and Ms Millar says it could cost the charity up to €200 to dispose of it in Kyletalisha landfill.
"All the profits we make in the shop go directly to helping Portlaoise people in need, paying for their food, electricity, gas, even college fees. Any money goes back into the community. Instead we have to spend it going to the dump," she said.
She does not believe that people might consider the items a donation.
"They are coming in at night because they know the quality is too poor for us to accept, the mattresses are all stained, everything is just dumped on the ground," she said.
The problem has worsened in recent years, Ms Millar said.
"This always happened but it's got worse, and it's costing us more money," she said.
There is now CCTV at the premises, and one dumper was caught on camera dropping a van load, and got a €150 fine from Laois County Council.
"I hope that acts as a deterrent to others," the shop manager said.
She is keen to emphasise that they do welcome donations of furniture, but in good condition.
"We vet all our furniture, it has to be good quality for resale, or for giving to people. People are welcome to ring us here, and we can go and collect large pieces, but we will not take them if they are not in fairly good condition. The lads are in the furniture store on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and we greatly appreciate good quality furniture, as well as donations of good quality clothes to our shop. People are generally very good to the St Vincent de Paul, this is a minority, who think it's an easy way to get rid of stuff," she said.
The St Vincent de Paul shop, on 1 Dublin Road, is open 10am to 5pm Monday to Friday, and 10am to 4pm Saturday, phone 8660486.
Laois County Council's litter hotline is 1800 32 32 30