Seattle, Washington -- In an effort to reduce the number of used mattresses that are going to its landfill and taking up space, when they could instead be recycled and their components reused, King County's Take it Back Network in Washington state has added two new partners as inaugural mattress recycling members.
A Plus Removal & Recycling and Rubbish Works join a large and growing number of retailers, repair shops, non-profit organizations, waste haulers and recyclers that provide consumers with safe and convenient reuse and recycling options for hard-to-recycle products.
"We are proud to partner with the Take it Back Network and add mattresses to our list of accepted materials," said Suzanne Breen, owner of A Plus Removal & Recycling, in a company statement.
"For the past 30 years, A Plus has been committed to keeping as much out the landfills as we can, and we're excited to do our part in diverting and recycling mattresses from the waste stream in the Puget Sound region."
The scheme charges a fee to cover recycling costs.
Each year, up to 40 million mattresses with box springs are disposed in the US, and a single mattress can take up as much as 40 cubic feet of landfill space. In 2011, King County received about 90 000 mattresses weighing more than 3000 tonnes for disposal at its transfer stations and landfill.
"Mattresses have a life span of about 11 years and take up a huge amount of space in the landfill," said Shawnda Anderson, director of operations for Rubbish Works. "This is why we try to recycle everything possible - from furniture to mattresses. Joining the Take it Back Network is a great way of demonstrating our commitment to provide sustainable end-of-life options for mattresses to Seattle-area customers."
Mattresses are made of several recyclable materials including polyurethane foam, steel, cotton, and wood, which when separated, can be used in a variety of end-market applications including auto parts, insulation and carpet padding. Mattress recycling reduces waste in the landfill and generates local jobs.
"We are thrilled to expand the Take it Back Network to include mattresses, and the fact that we can launch this effort with two dedicated partners from the outset makes this a positive step forward for resource management in King County," said Alex Erzen, programme manager with the King County Solid Waste Division.