To coincide with Recycle Week, The Furniture Recycling Group (TFRG) has revealed some exciting new developments that will help it divert many of 167,000 tonnes of mattresses still sent to landfill each year in the UK.
As well as continuing to invest in systems that make the recycling of mattresses more viable and much more efficient (TFRG expects to increase its capacity from 7,000 mattresses a week, to 20,000 mattresses a week by mid 2008) TFRG has designed and prototyped a new system that will allow a standard 40ft trailer, which ordinarily carries 90 mattresses, to carry 600. This means a significant reduction in transportation costs, as well as vastly increasing the viability of mattress recycling throughout the country – one of the current identified barriers to recycling mattresses is the cost of transportation to a mattress recycling facility.
Nick Oettinger, managing director at The Furniture Recycling Group, said: “While Recycling Week is an important date in the industry calendar as it brings the issues facing our planet front of mind, it’s critical for us to remain as engaged as possible to the topic throughout the year.
“We’re working hard to change the footprint and life cycle of a mattress, so it’s end of life is merely the start of a new one. There have been commitments to mattress recycling from some of the UK’s major retailers, which is definitely a step in the right direction, however, the current level of recycling doesn’t even come close to what is needed to make a dent on the landfill crisis we’re facing. In short, the situation is at crisis point.
“The UK still has a very long way to go to balance the scales and create a truly circular economy, in which the materials that are recovered from end of life mattresses are fed back into the manufacturing process. Thanks to our extensive research and pioneering development programme, we will soon be able to offer unprecedented levels of mattress recycling, that should help Britain work towards its tough sustainability targets,” Nick concluded.
Many retailers have started advertising that mattresses should be replaced after eight years, but TFRG says that the recycling rate hasn’t been able to grow in line with this, despite increasing by an estimated 20 percent from 2012 to 2014, further hampered by the fact that many recyclers stopped accepting mattresses in 2014/15. It says that only two of the approximate 20 members of the National Association of Waste Disposal Officers who were sending mattresses for recycling in the six to 12 months previously, were still doing so at the start of 2016.
As the UK’s largest mattress recycler, TFR Group provides mattress recycling services for hotels, local authorities, waste management companies and retailers such as John Lewis. Through these efforts, it has helped significantly reduce the number of end of life mattresses being sent to landfill, and has successfully recycled over 1 million mattresses since the firm was launched in 2012.
Any retailers, hoteliers and local authorities with questions about mattress recycling services or issues can get in touch with Nick Oettinger at The Furniture Recycling Group.