Mattress recycling through social enterprises

ABSC has a policy to support recycling facilities of a social enterprise nature wherever possible. We live by our values of engagement with organisations prioritising positive ethical and social, and environmental outcomes.

Mattress recycling is not for the feint hearted and there are multiple methods used to recycle mattresses. ABSC prefers manual dismantling to maximise recovery of sought-after resources used within mattresses, particularly steel and PU foam. Manual dismantling creates the opportunity to explore what can be achieved with all resources within mattresses in terms of downstream channels for materials such as textiles, fibres, timber, non-PU foam and plastics.

Mattress shredding is also a common practise that recovers steel and feeds waste to energy options. This reduces volume in landfill as opposed to burying a complete mattress unit. It’s not ideal but a necessity in some areas where higher recovery recycling facilities do not exist right now. The ABSC is actively seeking solutions to the materials currently not recovered from shredding.

ABSC takes a continuous improvement approach to mattress recycling. The waste hierarchy pyramid shows preferences across any product/material in terms of its end-of-life opportunities.

This video is by Tomasz Machnik from Flashpoint Labs. Tomasz photographed the Soft Landing Smithfield team for Westpac Foundation and was inspired to create a walk-through photo exhibition at the site. This video captures the reactions of the team.

Accredited Recyclers

Currently the ABSC is going through the accreditation process for more recyclers across the country.