New recycling service spares three tonnes of foam from landfill

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Environment Noosa Council

A new and improved mattress recycling process at Council’s Resource Recovery Centre has diverted a whopping 3.5 tonnes of foam from landfill in three months. Staff from Reviva Noosa are pictured with the truckload of foam.

A new and improved mattress recycling service at Council’s Resource Recovery Centre has saved more than three-and-a-half tonnes of foam from landfill since July.

“That’s enough to cover an entire football field in foam a centimetre thick,” says Council’s Waste and Environmental Health Manager Wayne Schafer.

“The amount of material Resource Recovery Australia has diverted from landfill with this initiative in a short space of time is a great boost to Council’s Towards Zero Waste initiative,” Mr Schafer said.

Resource Recovery Australia introduced the innovative mattress recycling service in July as part of a licence with Council to operate the tip shop.

RRA Manager Matt Curtis said the organisation had salvaged the 3.5 tonnes of foam from 999 mattresses processed since July, with 90% of each mattress able to be recycled.

The foam is sold to Dunlop. It is then sanitised and turned into new carpet underlay. In partnership with the University of NSW, RRA is developing ways to recycle the remaining 10% of the material component of the mattress by turning it into acoustic panelling. The metal is melted down to be made into new products. The wood component is turned into woodchip.

A not-for-profit specialist waste and recycling group, RRA aims to increase recovery of items otherwise headed for Noosa’s landfill, by around five tonne a month.

Mr Schafer said the revamped tip shop, Reviva, was an important part of Council’s plan to divert 55% of waste from landfill by 2024.

He said RRA was kicking social as well as waste and recycling goals by providing employment opportunities for those facing barriers to gaining lasting employment.

“In the past three months, three staff have gained forklift licences, five acquired test and tag licences, six completed fire warden training and two received first aid training. These are skills and qualifications that will surely serve them well,” Mr Schafer said.

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