Two recycling containers belonging to Récupex in Shebrooke were vandalized using a tool to pry open the doors and steal clothes from the inside.
The non-profit organization that helps give life to secondhand clothes has recently experienced a surge in property damage, according to Danny Roy, Récupex deputy general director.
“We only have a few vandalism cases each year, but it’s happening more frequently,” Roy told The Record in a phone interview.
Récupex has 100 clothing containers – 60 in Sherbrooke and 40 scattered around the Eastern Townships. It’s hard to monitor all of the containers, Roy explained, but it would help if residents kept an eye out for strange activity around the big blue containers.
“We can’t put a camera next to each of our bins, so there’s nothing strong we can about it but if people are aware, these bins are in parks or commercial sites, so if you see something then let Récupex know or call the police,” he said.
Roy is uncertain about what contents were taken out of the containers, but he speculates people are attracted to the possibility of finding high-end clothing that they can re-sell to turn a profit.
The vandalized property also adds stress on the non-profit organization. He said Récupex now has to cover the cost of fixing the containers as well as keeping their image clean to the public.
Residents trust Récupex to process used clothes and give them to a secondhand shop, he explained, but broken containers sends the wrong message. Roy also wants to shed some light on a greater problem regarding vandalized charitable or non-profit containers.
“It also happens to other organizations like Estrie Aide, we’re not trying to focus on this area, but the actual issue,” said Roy.