Did you know that up until January 1st of this year, it was estimated that between 100,000 and 150,000 mattresses were dumped annually into Metro Vancouver’s landfill. When you consider the massive amount of space these mattresses and box springs take up in our landfills this seems so senseless, especially when they could have been recycled, with 100% of the materials recovered and reused.
In an effort to encourage residents to recycle, Metro Vancouver has since prohibited the dumping of mattresses and box springs. Mattresses are no longer treated as garbage, and now must be recycled.
Enter Fabio Scaldaferri and Zac Plavsic of Mattressrecycling.ca, who were instrumental in lobbying the provincial government to have mattresses banned from entering our waste stream.
Green Coast Rubbish recently dropped off a mattress for recycling, and Mattressrecycling.ca was kind enough to give us a tour of their new facility. My first impression once I entered the facility was one of awe. The sheer volume of mattresses and box springs was unreal.
According to Scaldaferri, the facility can receive up to 150 mattresses per day, or 3000 to 5000 per month. And from this, Scaldaferri and Plavsic are able to recover and recycle 1 tonne of metal each day.
But that’s not all. Mattressrecycling.ca is also able to attain 100% recycle rates (said to drop to 90% in the future) for all materials, including foam (polyurethane), metal, wood, coir (coconut husk), cardboard, plastic, cotton, as well as felt toppers. All of these recovered materials are used locally, and nothing is shipped internationally—thus minimizing their carbon foot print.
The recycling process is quite simple, though very labour-intensive. The mattresses and box springs are basically disassembled by hand and the various materials are separated, stored, and then shipped from their facility in Burnaby to various other locations.
Green Coast Rubbish is proud to be affiliated with such an outstanding company like Mattressrecycling.ca, who is assisting us in our efforts to working towards a zero waste future by employing sustainable waste diversion and recycling practices.