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8 October, 2020

Innisfail springs to action on mattress recycling

Mattresses heading to landfill are something that Cassowary Coast Regional Council (CCRC) and Endeavour Foundation will no longer take lying down.

Councillor Teresa Millwood with Craig Whitechurch, Kahla Oliveri and Gordon McDermind at Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions – Innisfail.

The disability service provider and local council are partnering on a Far North Queensland-first initiative to save space in the region’s landfill, while creating jobs for people with an intellectual disability.

·         The initiative will save more than 926 cubic meters of waste from going of landfill each year.

·         That volume is equivalent to 23 fully-grown African elephants[1]

·         1926 mattresses went to landfill in the region last year.

·         70% of the region’s mattresses will be recycled, with the exception of badly soiled mattresses

CCRC Councillor for Waste, Teresa Millwood said the council was springing to action to tackle the issue.

“Mattresses are huge bulky items but they are very recyclable once they’ve been dismantled and the reduction in waste is massive,” said Councillor Nolan.

“Once the springs and other recyclable parts have been taken out, 100 mattresses can be reduced from 130m³ of waste to just 1m³ in waste, saving heaps of space in our local landfill.”

Mattresses will be collected from council transfer stations, aerated for five days, and dismantled at Endeavour Foundation Business Solutions – Innisfail, before being sent for recycling.

“Nearly every part of a mattress including the springs, the wood, and the fabric can be recycled so this new scheme will eliminate a great deal of waste,” said Site Manager Craig Whitechurch.

“All of our employees are well trained in the use of PPE to ensure they can do this work safely.

“Having a job provides our supported employees with an income but they also receive the benefits of social connection, increasing confidence and self-esteem, and improving physical and mental health.”

Supported Employee Jarrod Murray said he was looking forward to the new dismantling work.

“It’s great to have more and different things to do,” Mr Murray said, “It’s pretty easy and fun. We cut the mattress open and strip away the top and bottom

“It’s good to stop them going to [landfill] and the metal can be used to make other things.”

Local residents can take their mattresses to council’s waste transfer facilities.

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