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Dumped mattresses ‘cost Laois economy over €1.9m per year’ as free amnesty planned for this weekend

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Over 10,600 old mattresses are dumped in County Laois every year – costing the economy €1.9 million.

So says Bounce Back Recycling who have teamed up with Laois County Council for a free amnesty mattress event this Saturday.

Bounce Back Recycling Manager Martin Ward says are working closely with Laois County Council to divert these old mattresses away from landfill and incineration. Otherwise, the picture would be bleak.

Martin said: “It costs around €180 for every mattress that ends up in landfill – an estimated loss of over €1.9 to the local economy.

“This level of mattress dumping would be equivalent to 265,000kg of waste.

“By recycling the mattresses instead, you can turn this waste into 225,000kg of valuable materials.

“This puts money back into the circular economy and creates green jobs, by using the materials we produce by recycling mattresses.”

Since BBR opened in 2017, they have diverted over 70,000 mattresses from landfill.

They have been working with Laois County Council since 2019, removing old mattresses from civic amenity sites.

Next Saturday, July 2, they are running a free Mattress Amnesty Day with the council at Portlaoise Rugby Grounds in Togher.

From 9.30am to 2.30pm, householders can dispose of up to two mattresses each at no charge.

“The materials recovered from our recycling process can be used for a range of other products.

“These include using soft materials for making carpet underlay, and potentially, home insulation products. The metal springs can be recycled for use in the steel industry.”

Martin believes that BBR can help local authorities, householders, furniture retailers, hotels and others to make mattress recycling an achievable option for them.

They offer collection services not just for civic amenity sites, but also for furniture stores, hotels and householders.

Martin said: “Ireland is fast running out of landfill space and bulky items like mattresses take up too much room.

“A mattress takes around 100 years to decompose, so it makes no sense to send it to landfill.

“Also, when BBR recycles a mattress, we recover more reusable materials than regular shredding does.

“By 2025, at least 55% of municipal waste must be recycled to meet EU targets. Furthermore, within 13 years the amount of waste going to landfill must be reduced to 10% of all municipal waste. BBR can help local authorities to achieve these targets.”

SEE ALSO – Laois County Council agree to sell land for almost €1 million to Kildare company

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