Council trials innovative recycling process to close the loop on mattress waste
Tuesday, 25 February 2020
Central Coast Council, 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 that 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,” Mr Pearce said.
“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 2,240 mattresses or 56 tonnes of mattresses, helping to save 1,792 cubic metres of landfill.
“This trial ensures 100% 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," Mayor Matthews said.
“That is why we are supporting the ‘Save Our Recycling’ campaign, which calls on the NSW State Government to work in partnership with Council to improve waste and recycling processes which will deliver local jobs and improve the local environment at the same time.”
The cost to deposit mattresses at Council’s Waste Management Facilities is at a charge of $26 per mattress in addition to the mixed waste fee, or they can picked up for free through the kerbside collection service available to most households.