Council partnership stops mattresses going to landfill
Did you know mattresses are one of the most problematic items sent to the Gatton Landfill? This is due to their size and the amount of space they consume.
That is why Lockyer Valley Regional Council is proud to partner with Ability Enterprises on an exciting pilot initiative that could not only address this issue but assist locals who are facing barriers to employment.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Deputy Mayor and Waste Portfolio Councillor, Jason Cook said despite the fact most components of a mattress can be recycled, they are one of the most common items sent to landfill.
“Each year in Australia around 1.6 to 1.8 million mattresses are sent to landfill, where each mattress takes up 0.75 cubic metres of space.
“They are not only bulky and therefore labour-intensive, but the wire in the mattress causes damage to the compaction machinery.
“The Gatton Landfill is reaching capacity and Council is looking to introduce as many resource recovery projects as possible, so by recycling old mattresses, these large waste items can be diverted from landfill and their components, such as foam and springs, can be recycled into several new products.
“Residents are urged to bring their mattresses to the Laidley Transfer Station, where they will be manually deconstructed to remove recoverable items such as metal and foam.
“Disposal of mattresses will still incur the standard waste fees during the trial, however diverting mattresses from landfill provides long-term cost-savings for the community and the fees will be used to cover the contractor’s costs,” Cr Cook said.
Ability Enterprises is a not-for-profit, social enterprise providing meaningful employment opportunities to marginalised individuals living in regional Queensland.
“Ability Enterprises have the runs on the board when it comes to recycling mattresses,” CEO Tracey Scanlan said.
“Our team successfully processes between 100 and 130 mattresses every single week in Toowoomba, and we are very excited to expand our services, working alongside the Lockyer Valley Regional Council.
“Mattress Recycling just makes sense as it’s great for the environment, reduces capital expenditure on creation of new landfill sites, and for a social perspective it creates jobs for those needing extra support.
“It’s a well-known fact that end-of-life mattresses are a growing problem, not only in Australia but globally
“We applaud this initiative from the Lockyer Valley Regional Council that will see the recycled mattress materials repurposed for a variety of uses including, steel for manufacturing in the motor vehicle and appliance sectors and eventually foam for animal bedding and carpet underlay,” Ms Scanlon said.
Cr Cook said one of the most common misconceptions was that recycling processes are free to Council – which is not the case.
“While we offer as much recycling as possible at no cost to the community, there are costs Council has to cover.
“What we’re hoping to achieve from this trial is to find a cost-effective way to preserve valuable landfill space,” Cr Cook said.
Residents are reminded that normal gate fees for waste apply during the trial, with mattresses to be placed in the shed instead of the bin.
For further information, contact Council on 1300 005 872 or visit www.lockyervalley.qld.gov.au