Colourful display of teddies by dump entrance has mood-boosting power
Cork city dump has become an unlikely social media sensation thanks to its colourful collection of teddy bears that clamber and swing from its entrance.
Elsa smiles next to Miss Piggy who bats her eyelashes at all who enter. Lions languish above the entrance and a monkey swings merrily from the high metal barrier.
As charities stopped accepting toys they arrived in droves to the dump. But instead of discarding the onceloved teddies, workers have placed them artfully — and humorously — around the entrance to Cork’s Civic Amenity Site just off the South City Link Road.
The teddy installation has been a huge hit with people lugging waste to the recycling centre and dump, and also to people in adjacent Tramore Valley Park, which has a walkway that winds past the teddys.
“People are coming to take photos every day for Facebook now,” said site manager Derek Cambridge.
“We used to donate the toys to charities, but health and safety regulations stopped that.
“Teddies come in daily. Some arrive brand new. We thought children would take them so we left them out by the entrance. But they didn’t, so we put them up here instead.
“It seemed a shame to just dump them.
“Look at that tiger there,” he says, pointing to an expensive-looking teddy. “Imagine what someone paid for that.”
As people drive up with their bags of recycling, they stop to admire the teddy installation, praising its moodboosting power.
“I love it,” says Anna Cahill as she drives into the site.
“It puts a smile on your face. It makes me happy whenever I drive in here.”
And staff at the recycle centre agree.
“It brightens up the place and takes the numbness out of the dump,” said employee Paul Walsh.
“Kids now want to come here with their parents so it’s teaching them about recycling.”
One young girl comes back frequently to visit her giant gorilla now, which sits at the entrance with a neverflagging plastic smile.
And Mr Cambridge said that it’s cheering people up in the adjacent park too.
“We did this for the fun of the park too,” he said. “People walk past here through the park every day and they stop to take photos here now.
“School groups that come to the park insist on stopping here.
“And if a child comes and asks for a teddy we let them take it, but warn them that they have to wash it.”
“It’s a blaze of colour,” says employee Finbarr Sheehan.
“But there’s a strict selection policy — they have to be cute and cuddly to make it out on display,” he said with a grin.
“And that’s our Magic Mirror,” he said pointing to a large disc of glass placed carefully behind the teddys.
“If you look in that all your dreams will come true!”