Toowoomba Regional Council has launched a mattress processing trial, which if successful, is expected to divert at least 3000 items from landfill each year.
Council’s Water and Waste portfolio leader Nancy Sommerfield said 3000 mattresses were received at the Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility annually, with another 2000 received at other regional facilities.
“Large bulky items like mattresses have posed challenges up to now as they do not compact easily, due to the springs, and take up significant landfill space,” she said.
The six-week trial will involve cutting mattresses open to remove the springs, which can then be sold as scrap metal.
“A future option could involve removing the foam which potentially has a resale value. This will be further investigated after the trial,” Sommerfield said.
“Council officers will test the logistics of the operation, including the time it takes to process each mattress.”
The mattress trial follows council’s mid-year addition of polystyrene recycling at its waste management facility.
According to Water and Waste Committee chair Rebecca Vonhoff, the volume of polystyrene accepted at the facility is increasing each month, with 120 compressed blocks produced in September.
“This resulted in a saving of 260 cubic metres of landfill space for the month,” she said.
“The cumulative effect of additional recycling will see a significant reduction in material ending up in our landfills.
“Apart from reducing our operating costs, it also helps council reach the state government’s waste reduction targets.”