Recycling mattress waste

Article image - Recycling mattress waste Recycling mattresses reduces roadside rubbish.

Central Coast Council, New South Wales, in partnership with Mattress Recycling Australia, is trialling a new process that recycles 100 percent of mattresses dropped off at Kincumber Waste Management Facility.

The trial aims to minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill, reduce methane gases being produced from decomposing mattresses and recycle end-of-life waste products by turning them into a resource.

Council Unit Manager Waste Services and Business Development, Andrew Pearce said Council annually receives more than 20,000
mattresses across its three waste management facilities.

“Historically mattresses were sent to landfill, however, over the last four years we have been stockpiling and bulk shredding these mattresses to recover the metals for recycling and reduce the amount sent to landfill.

“Under this new trial we are collecting and bulk transporting the mattresses to a dedicated resource recovery facility where the mattresses are processed into separate commodities for which there are end markets.

“During the initial three month trial at our Kincumber Waste Facility we have collected and transported 2240 mattresses or 56 tonnes of mattresses, helping to save 1792 cubic metres of landfill.

“This trial ensures 100 percent of the mattress materials are reused and recycled with the stripped metals reused as railway wheels, foam repurposed into carpet underlay, material utilised in decorative wall panels and the remaining products, including floc, wood and plastic, processed as biofuel.

“An added benefit is that we have been working with a contractor who is creating employment opportunities to achieve social outcomes, including employment and skills development for those with disabilities and the long term unemployed.

“We are now investigating the possibility of extending the trial to our Woy Woy Waste Management Facility, which will then help us inform future business decisions, including whether this approach can be rolled out across all our Waste Management Facilities.”

Mayor Lisa Matthews said it was vital that Council continued to find new and innovative ways to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

“This trial is a great example of how committed we are to resource recovery and we could do so much more if there was more funding available.”