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Ards and North Down Council Partnership Showcases Usel as NI Leader in Mattress Recycling

If you are replacing a mattress over the holidays, don’t forget that they can be recycled at Balloo, Ards and Comber Household Recycling Centres. Ards and North Down are working in partnership with Ulster Supported Employment and Learning (Usel), the largest supporter of people with disabilities and health-related conditions into employment in Northern Ireland to tackle the growing problem of the number of mattresses going to landfill sites.

It is estimated there is presently 215 000 tonnes of mattresses in landfills across the UK. Each mattress consumes 23 cubic feet of airspace. The discarded mattresses are difficult to compact, consume valuable landfill space and can take years to decompose. Their steel innersprings tear up landfill equipment, and they can also absorb hazardous materials into flammable air pockets, causing landfill fire.

In this collaborative partnership Usel and Ards & North Down District Council will address this growing issue and reduce the number of mattresses being diverted to landfill.

Alison Curtis, Waste Resource and Contracts Manager from Ards and North Down District Council is encouraging the public to avail of the scheme stating that the mattresses can be brought to Balloo, Ards and Comber Household Recycling Centres (hopefully expanding to more sites in the new year) or can be collected from your door using the Council’s Bulky Waste Service (a charge applies for this service). The HRCs are extremely busy over the holiday period and long queues can be expected. It is important that ALL waste is separated for recycling before arrival at the sites to minimise delays.

She explained: “The Council is delighted to be working with Usel to provide this service that sees mattresses from our Council area being disassembled into various components at Usel recycling facilities across Northern Ireland before they are segregated and sent on to other facilities for further processing to be reused.

Among the ways that items can be reused, eg: carpet underlay, acoustic dampening in cars and the steel springs that are sent to a local metal recycler to be melted down for reuse. Usel are the only organisation in the province to provide this recycling service.

Scott Jackson, Head of Manufacturing & Recycling commented “We are very grateful to be involved in this partnership with Ards and North Down Council and leading the way in the Circular Economy & mattress recycling industry within Northern Ireland. There are 1.7 million mattresses in Northern Ireland, each mattress can be recycled into other products and diverted from landfill sites.”


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