A used mattress is one of those difficult things that tend to hang around the house because you just never get around to disposing of it! But a new mattress collection and recycling service is keeping bulky items out of landfill, reducing illegal dumping and supporting people into the workforce – which is a win on all fronts. Here’s how it works.
In a first for the Willoughby City Council area, residents can have their old mattresses collected and recycled for free, just by booking online. And it’s done in partnership with social enterprise Soft Landing who create jobs and training for people who have experienced barriers to gaining lasting employment.
The service is in line with Council’s commitment to sustainability and with the aim of diverting large bulky items from landfill.
Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said introducing the service was an obvious choice.
“We’ve heard from the community who say they want a greener and cleaner place to live and that they want council to be a leader in sustainability, so this directly delivers on our community’s expectations,” Mayor Giles-Gidney said.
“Many residents don’t know what to do with large bulky items and leave them on the footpath, however, we want to encourage residents to make the most of recycling, repairing, re-using bulky items and this new service is one way to do that,” she said.
Soft Landing recycles up to 75% of mattress components.
The steel springs are used in roof sheeting; the foam is recycled into carpet underlay; the husk is reused in weed matting and mulch; the timber is processed for mulch and animal bedding while the fabric is used in acoustic panelling.
Salvaging these materials diverts thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill annually. Every 10 tonne of materials is equivalent to:
- Taking four cars off the road permanently.
- Providing enough electricity to annually power 14.5 households.
- Saving enough water to fill 3.5 average backyard pools.
“Providing access to sustainable employment and training improves economic wellbeing, better social, physical and mental health and many other benefits,” Mayor Giles-Gidney said.
“It’s an initiative council and the community can really get behind and support.”
The program complements other council sustainability initiatives, including the Live Well program – a series of over 50 workshops and talks each year to help people live more sustainably.