Up to 10 tonnes of mattresses could be dropped off at a FREE Mattress Amnesty Day in Athlone this Saturday, 18th November.

The mattresses will be collected and recycled by leading social enterprise Bounce Back Recycling (BBR) on behalf of Westmeath County Council. The Athlone Mattress Amnesty Day follows a similar event last Saturday in Mullingar. It is open to Westmeath residents and householders only. BBR say that although drop off is free, you must register in advance by booking an allocated time. Book at www.barnarecycling.com/booking

BBR Manager Martin Ward says about 11,000 old mattresses are dumped in County Westmeath every year.  “It costs around €180 for every mattress that ends up in landfill –so that’s an estimated loss of over €2,000,000 to the local economy.”

But Martin says BBR are working closely with Westmeath County Council to divert these old mattresses away from landfill and incineration. Otherwise, the picture would be bleak.

“This level of mattress dumping is equivalent to 300,000 kg of waste. By recycling the mattresses instead, you can turn this waste into 180,000 kg of valuable materials. This puts money back into the circular economy and creates green jobs, by using the materials we produce by recycling mattresses.”

Since BBR opened in the west of Ireland in 2017, they have diverted over 90,000 mattresses from landfill. They have been working with Westmeath County Council since 2019, collecting mattresses from mattress amnesty days hosted by the Council.

Environmental Awareness Officer at Westmeath County Council, Aisling Stafford says, “Westmeath County Council are delighted to provide free mattress amnesty days in Mullingar and Athlone this year. Every year analysis shows that mattresses are top of the list when it comes to materials being dumped in remote areas within Westmeath county. The two Mattress Amnesty days are part of the Council’s strategy to reduce illegal dumping and the elimination of unauthorised waste collectors. It is also vital that we encourage mattress recycling initiatives to reduce the amount of bulky household waste going to landfill or incineration.”

Registered householders can dispose of up to three mattresses each safely and legally at no charge at the amnesty days. Additional mattresses can be disposed of for a charge of €10 for a single and €18 for a double.

The Athlone Mattress Amnesty Day is Saturday 18th at Athlone Civic Amenity Centre, from 9am to 3pm at the rear of Golden Island Shopping Centre.

Those who miss the Amnesty Day can visit www.bouncebackrecycling.ie to book their door-to-door collection service, or contact BBR on 091-760877.

Turning Rubbish into Resources

“The materials recovered from our recycling process can be used for a range of other products. These include using soft materials for making carpet underlay, and potentially, home insulation products. The metal springs can be recycled for use in the steel industry.”

Martin believes that BBR can help local authorities, householders, furniture retailers, hotels and others to make mattress recycling an achievable option for them.  They offer collection services not just for civic amenity sites, but also for furniture stores, hotels and householders.

Landfill Space is Running Out

“Ireland is fast running out of landfill space and bulky items like mattresses take up too much room. A mattress takes around 100 years to decompose, so it makes no sense to send it to landfill. Also, when BBR recycles a mattress, we recover more reusable materials than regular shredding does.”

“By 2025, at least 55% of municipal waste must be recycled to meet EU targets. Furthermore, within 13 years the amount of waste going to landfill must be reduced to 10% of all municipal waste. BBR can help local authorities to achieve these targets.”

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