Over 10,600 old mattresses are dumped in County Laois every year, says leading social enterprise, Bounce Back Recycling (BBR). “It costs around €180 for every mattress that ends up in landfill – an estimated loss of over €1.9 to the local economy,” says BBR manager, Martin Ward.
But Martin says BBR are working closely with Laois County Council to divert these old mattresses away from landfill and incineration. Otherwise, the picture would be bleak, he says.
“This level of mattress dumping would be equivalent to 265,000kg of waste. By recycling the mattresses instead, you can turn this waste into 225,000kg 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 2017, they have diverted over 70,000 mattresses from landfill. They have been working with Laois County Council since 2019, removing old mattresses from civic amenity sites.
Next Saturday (5th July), they are running a free Mattress Amnesty Day with the council at Portlaoise Rugby Grounds in Togher. From 9.30am to 2.30pm, householders can dispose of up to two mattresses each at no charge. If you miss the Amnesty day, then just contact BBR directly on www.bouncebackrecycling.ie to book their door-to-door collection service.
Turning Old Mattresses 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.”
BBR administrator Nicola Devers says public and private sectors need to act now to reduce mattress waste and turn it into a valuable resource instead via recycling. “Householders can play their part too, and we can help make it easier for them to get rid of old mattresses. Many people simply have no means of transporting a mattress for disposal. “
“As one customer said to me, you can’t fit a mattress into a Nissan Micra!” Nicola explains that this is why they offer a door-to-door collection service in County Laois.
Enterprise for Social Good
BBR are a social enterprise, so they invest all their profits back into growing their recycling business. They also provide employment opportunities and job training for Travellers, who face high barriers to employment. “So, as our mattress recycling business grows, so will the jobs and training places,” says Nicola.
Find out more about Bounce Back Recycling or book a domestic mattress collection at www.bouncebackrecycling.ie. Or contact them directly about local authority, or commercial collections on 091 760877 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BBR would like to acknowledge the Government’s support with our development under the Dormant Accounts Fund.