Galway social enterprises Bounce Back Recycling and Bounce Back Upcycling will host an Open Day to Celebrate Traveller Pride this Saturday, June 15th.  Bounce Back founder Martin Ward says everyone is welcome to join the festivities and family fun at Ballybrit Industrial Estate from 12-4pm.

“We’re celebrating Traveller Pride in a showcase of Traveller innovation and heritage under the theme Reclaiming Spaces as the Original Recyclers,” says Martin. The Open Day will have live music, workshops, traditional games, bread making, tin-smithing, photo exhibitions, paper flower making, face painting, and a barrel top wagon.

The event also marks the relocation of Bounce Back Upcycling (BBU), right next door to their sister enterprise Bounce Back Recycling (BBR). For the Open Day, BBU will hold demonstrations of their furniture repair and upholstery upcycling.

BBU manager, Jane Ward, says their new premises in Ballybrit Industrial Estate give them over three times more room. “The extra space will enable us to meet the growing demand for our services. It also allows us to extend our showroom for selling second-hand furniture. So, come along on June 15th and check out what we do and what we sell.”

What’s Happening at Open Day to Celebrate Traveller Pride

On the Open Day, BBR will present demonstrations of their award-winning work breaking down mattresses by hand for recycling. “Travellers were the original recyclers in Ireland”, says Martin Ward, who is the co-ordinator of the Galway Traveller Movement. “This links back to the tinsmiths more than 100 years ago, who provided a service to the settled community before plastic took over. Holding this Open Day for the public to see BBR and BBU at work is a great way to showcase that our heritage as recyclers lives on.”

Since its establishment in 2017, Traveller-led social enterprise BBR has diverted over 100,000 bulky waste items from landfill. The BBR team deconstructs old mattresses and furniture by hand, to extract more materials for recycling into the circular economy. These materials are reused for purposes like home insulation, carpet underlay and mulch, while the springs are used by Galway Metal.

“By recycling a mattress, you can turn the waste into valuable materials, adding to the circular economy and create green jobs,” says BBR Manager Keith McDonagh. “Sending mattresses to the dump costs our economy millions of euros every year.”

Operating across 13 counties, BBR offers jobs and training to Travellers, who face 80% unemployment rates. BBR serves householders, local authorities, and retailers, including drop off and door-to-door collection services.  In the Galway area, BBR offers mattress collection from homes and businesses within three days of receiving a phone or online booking.

You can visit www.bouncebackrecycling.ie to book a door-to-door collection service or call BBR on 091-760877.