Irish Examiner

Colour­ful dis­play of ted­dies by dump en­trance has mood-boost­ing power

- Liz Dun­phy

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!”

 ?? Pic­tures: John De­lea ?? Paul Walsh and Fin­barr Shee­han show off the im­pres­sive haul of dis­played soft toys they saved from de­struc­tion at Tramore Val­ley Amenity Cen­tre. Their aim is to put a smile on their cus­tomers faces as they re­cy­cle.
Pic­tures: John De­lea Paul Walsh and Fin­barr Shee­han show off the im­pres­sive haul of dis­played soft toys they saved from de­struc­tion at Tramore Val­ley Amenity Cen­tre. Their aim is to put a smile on their cus­tomers faces as they re­cy­cle.
 ??  ?? Some of the soft toys at the Civic Amenity Cen­tre, Tramore Val­ley, Cork City.
Some of the soft toys at the Civic Amenity Cen­tre, Tramore Val­ley, Cork City.

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