Western Australia’s City of Swan is assisting the disadvantaged by transforming unwanted rubbish into beds.
The Advocate reported the initiative is being led by the City’s contractor Spider Waste, and involves collecting unwanted and discarded mattresses and recycling and repurposing them.
Used mattresses that are salvageable and of an appropriate standard are steam cleaned, packed into sea containers and sent to central towns for distribution to remote communities.
Spider Waste owner Rob Santoro told The Advocate he began sending the re-useable mattresses to communities in need last year, sending around 90 at a time.
He said the initiative had both environmental and social benefits.
“I can’t really see the send in stripping them down if they can be used by people who really need them,” he said.
“We also include a few other items like bicycles in the sea containers and it’s all been really well received by the communities.”
Over the past two years, more than 180 tonnes of mattresses were disposed of in the City of Swan, which have been diverted from landfill and recycled.
Mattresses which are not able to be reused, are taken apart, with metal components sold as scrap.
The foam is turned into carpet underlay, and timber and pocket springs used to make dog beds.
Mayor Mick Wainwright told The Advocate the recycling process had also created jobs for people with disabilities.
“The average mattress takes up almost a square metre of space in landfill,” he said.
“Most mattresses contain about 12.5kg of steel, 2kg if wood and 1.5kg of foam, all of which can be recycled.