Davitt wants to know who is gaining from second hand clothes

What happens to the clothes you throw in a clothing bank? It turns out that it’s not easy to determine whether they go to charities, or whether they actually end up in the hands of private individuals, it emerged at January’s meeting of the Municipal District of Mullingar Kinnegad.

Cllr Aoife Davitt, who raised the subject, made clear she had her suspicions that the clothes are not always going where the donors intend.

The Fianna Fáil councillor asked how certification for clothes collection banks is monitored, and enquired whether Westmeath County Council had a role in that.

In a written response to her motion, the municipal district stated that the 23 clothes banks located at bring centres located on public property are operated and serviced by ‘Eco Environmental’ on behalf of the council under a regional contract. However, the response continued “clothes banks are not subject to a permit or certification of registration under the Waste Management Act”.

Cllr Davitt said a constituent raised the subject with her, sharing her worry over what becomes of the donations and expressing the view that there should be a registration system in place.

“How do we know who’s collecting them and who is not?” she asked. “Do we get a run-down of who they are answerable to?”

Cllr Davitt said she was particularly aware of the bank located outside St Colman’s NS: “There often are huge amounts of clothes that are left there,” she said, pointing out that the council maintains the area at the bring banks

“If there are other people gaining monetary reward from it, should we be the ones responsible for it?”