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Just 19% of mattresses are recycled with 40% going to landfill

MattressrecyclingWhile the rate of mattress recycling has increased in recent years, it will take 50 years before all mattresses are recycled unless the rate significantly increases, a new report has warned.

The End of Life Mattress Report by environmental consultant Oakdene Hollis for the National Bed Federation estimates that 7.26m (181,500tonnes) of mattresses were disposed of by households, businesses and service providers in 2017 at a cost of over £20m, excluding transport and handling – 91% of all new mattress sales. Of these, 19% (1.363m / 32,327tonnes) were diverted from landfill to mattress recycling businesses. This is 55% higher than the 879,000 estimated for 2015. The rest went into landfill (40%) or energy from waste (41%). 

It predicts that the rate increased to 20%-22% in 2018 (local authority and mattress production information is not yet available) but mattress recyclers reported their throughput in 2018 was 29% higher than in 2017.

‘It is gratifying to see this organic increase in the rate of mattresses being diverted from landfill but we still have a lot to do if we are going to meet the NBF’s ambitious target of 75% diversion from landfill by 2028 through a  combination of mattress recycling with Energy from Waste (EfW).” says Tony Lisanti, NBF president. ‘We must all accept shared responsibility, build mutual trust and work together proactively to achieve these goals.’