Lockyer Valley Regional Council tackles discarded mattresses with recycling trial

The Lockyer Valley Regional Council (LVRC) is the latest organization to add mattresses to an ambitious recycling trial to reclaim valuable landfill space in South East Queensland.

Deputy Mayor Jason Cook told ABC Radio Brisbane Mornings presenter Rebecca Levingston that the article was “one of the most problematic” sent to council transfer stations.

Between 1.6 million and 1.8 million mattresses end up in an Australian landfill each year.

LVRC partners with Ability Enterprises, a non-profit social enterprise providing employment opportunities for marginalized people in the Queensland region, to run the mattress recycling component of their program.

“It’s a problem just because of their size and the space they take up in the landfill,” Cr Cook said.

“All the springs and coils that are metal can all be reused.

“These springs coming out are also quite common in the landfill due to their sharpness and I think it causes damage to the machinery used in the landfill.

“We need to stop putting things on the landfill. We also need to be realistic about how it gets done, who does it, if it’s doable and if it’s financially viable.”

Ability Enterprises chief executive Tracey Scanlan said a team at Toowoomba processes between 100 and 130 mattresses each week.

“Recycling mattresses just makes sense because it’s great for the environment, reduces capital expenditures for creating new landfills and, from a social perspective, it creates jobs for those in need. extra support,” she said.

“It’s a well-known fact that end-of-life mattresses are a growing problem, not just in Australia but around the world.”

LVRC residents can bring old mattresses to the Laidley Transfer Station, but disposal will still incur the standard waste fee during the trial.

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Other tips seek to plan

In its 2022 budget, the City of Logan provided funds for a new mattress recycling process.

Mayor Darren Power said the program would harvest about 10 kilograms of scrap metal from each mattress.

Mattresses would be destroyed offsite.

Moreton Bay Regional Council (MBRC) has contracted Queensland-based company CDS Recycling to shred old beds and collect steel for recycling.

“They’re big, they’re bulky and because they’re used so much, they often can’t be sold second-hand,” CRMB Mayor Peter Flannery said.

“This poses a huge problem for our tips. With all that foam, they can take up much needed space for other waste, absorb leachate and turn into a fire hazard with oxygen that infiltrates.”

Noosa Shire, South Burnett Regional and Brisbane City councils also have mattress recycling schemes.

A “tsunami” of mattresses

Landsborough resident Rob (whose surname has been withheld for confidentiality) said he had worked on Noosa Council for less than a year and spent his days ‘cutting through the tsunami of mattresses’ at the area’s Doonan landfill.

“There’s a big table and you lift it up. You have a Stanley knife in one hand, a pair of pliers in the other, and you start slicing it, flipping it, redoing it, taking it apart,” he said. -he declares. said.

“We used to bale the moss, put it around a string and drive it to Rocklea to a place that used it as underpad.

“The covers, the cotton and the latex, we didn’t keep that either. It just went to the landfill.”

Elna M. Lemons