Although plastic has led the global eco-agenda for the past few years, the disposal of bulky waste items – such as mattresses – is an issue which is affecting landfill sites all over the world.
An incredible 7.5 MILLION mattresses go to landfill every year in the UK alone, enough to completely fill Wembley stadium five times over. In fact, this cumbersome waste stream has been directly blamed for the fact that, if we don’t change our habits, we will run out of landfill completely by 2022.
This is not a UK-only issue, though, and for Global Recycling Day (18 March 2019), Nick Oettinger, founder of The Furniture Recycling Group, is calling on countries all over the world to tackle this issue and adopt a joined up approach to solve the problem, and divert a potential global eco crisis before it happens.
Nick commented: “400,000 mattresses per week go to landfill in the United States, which is almost 21 million per year. In fact, the US is on pace to run out of room in landfills within 18 years, potentially creating an environmental disaster (1). And countries such as Australia are not much better, with one million mattresses being dumped into landfill sites every year – one for every 24 people.
“This Global Recycling Day, we want to highlight this impending crisis and make sure that mattress recycling gets on the eco agenda for the years ahead.”
Nick and his Blackburn-based firm divert an incredible 400,000 mattresses away from landfill every year in the UK alone, thanks in part to machines that Nick has invented himself, which strip the components of the mattresses down in seconds so they can be recycled or sanitised and repurposed.
Nick also recently developed the world’s first fully automated mattress stripping machine, which reduces the time taken to strip down a mattress by 70 percent. Initial tests have proved successful and he is currently building a working prototype to test the machine further.
Nick continued: “We are passionate about recycling, and proud to say that companies such as ours are leading the way on a global level. We’d love to see other countries adopt a joined up approach, sharing best practice and the latest technology with similar firms and initiatives.
“It’s also a good time to call on consumers in this country, to ensure that they recycle their mattresses after use. There are several schemes and retailers in the UK that will collect and recycle old mattresses, so it’s crucial that we use those services and stop dumping or even fly-tipping mattresses if we want to continue to lead the agenda.”