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‘Comfort layer’ to carpet: How recyclers can breathe new life into old mattresses

Article image for ‘Comfort layer’ to carpet: How recyclers can breathe new life into old mattresses

Old mattresses are one of the toughest household items to turf, with many councils refusing to pick them up and few means of recycling them.

Australian Bedding Stewardship Council CEO Vernon Fair explained to Deborah Knight why mattresses have little commercial viability for recyclers.

“The biggest problem is that when you do deconstruct them, and try to take the materials apart, there’s no real value to them.

“Part of it does get reused, and manual deconstruction allows some of the recyclers to take the steel out … that’s the most valuable part.

“Some of the foam can be reused, mainly in the comfort layers, so that goes to the likes of carpet underlay.”

Around 30 per cent of the mattress still goes to landfill, but there is hope a voluntary fee paid by manufacturers could incentivise further recycling.

Press PLAY below to hear more about the scheme

Image: Getty

Deborah Knight
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