Eco-Living Magazine

From Used Mattress to Commodity

Posted on the 23 January 2012 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

From Used Mattress to CommodityIf you’ve ever wondered what happens to your mattress after you’re done using it, Spring Back Recycling has one answer. The new company started recycling the old foam and spring amalgamations. Spring Back Recycling, which was founded last year, charges patrons $10 per mattress to recycle the old sleep-aids. More than just an environmentally friendly company, Spring Back began “through a partnership between Belmont University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team and Belmont Church’s Isaiah 58 Ministry in the spring of 2011. This partnership provides a second chance to previously incarcerated and homeless men” in addition to reducing the amount of material sent to landfills.

The combination of environmentally conscious and socially aware aspects makes Spring Back a model company for a sustainable future. According to their website, more than 30 million mattresses are disposed of in landfills each year. Although they only serve the Nashville, Tennessee area at this time, the model could work in numerous locales, providing jobs that cannot be outsourced.

Through the recycling process, raw materials can be recovered from mattresses. These include cotton, metal, wood, and foam. “The revenue generated from this process sustains the venture, provides jobs and job training, and diverts mattresses from landfills.”

Spring Back Recycling was recently featured on NPR. The article focused on the company’s niche in the marketplace as well as the dual benefits of social and environmental concerns. According to the story, mattresses “contain an average of 25 pounds of steel and foam that can be chopped up for carpet padding [however,] recycling companies usually refuse to take a used mattress.” The idea of a used mattress may seem unsavory. In fact, a cursory internet search suggests that many states prohibit the resale of them, thereby making recycling even more essential.

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