Usel operate a Circular Economy business model that contributes to the wider Circular Economy through the recycling of mattresses, carpet, furniture, plastic, cardboard and waste electrical items. This is a key driver in our commitment to creating a positive social impact in the communities and environments in which we operate. Our aim is to keep the resources within the economy until the product has reached the end of its life cycle.
By operating a Circular Economy model, it allows us to create more sustainable jobs for people with disabilities and health conditions across Northern Ireland.
Usel is Northern Ireland’s only mattress recycling provider diverting over 1000 tonnes of waste from landfill every year.
Usel collect mattresses from council recycling centres, bed retailers and hoteliers across the province and brings them back to our licenced facility. 100% of mattresses collected are diverted from landfill.
The mattresses are disassembled into various components, such as foam, polyester and steel and sometimes include a range of natural fibres like wool and cotton depending on the type of mattress. These components are segregated and sent on to other facilities for further processing and reused in several different ways such as carpet underlay, acoustic dampening in cars and the steel spring is sent to a local metal recycler to be melted down for reuse. 96% of each mattress is recycled, the remaining 4% is sent to energy from waste.
Usel work in partnership with Belfast City Council, Mid and East Antrim, Derry City & Strabane, North Down and Ards, University of Ulster and Queens University. Bed retailers and hoteliers include Harvey Normans, Dreams and Holiday Inn.
Usel is the only organisation in Northern Ireland to provide this service. The benefits of mattress recycling include reducing waste, driving greater resource productivity and significantly reducing the environmental impact of mattress disposal. In addition, Usel is creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities and health related conditions within its recycling operation.
MATTRESS RECYCLING PROCESS
1. Mattresses collected from amenity site
2. Mattresses brought back to base and uploaded to our system for traceability
3. Mattresses stripped down to various component materials
Usel are currently the only carpet recycling provider in Ireland. We work in partnership with Mid and East Antrim and Irish Waste to collect and recycle carpet across Ireland. Working in partnership results in 100% diversion from landfill.
The carpets are collected from amenity sites and brought back to our main site in Belfast for quality checking and baling. Following this process, they are then shipped for further reprocessing with a 100% recycling rate, before being sold into the equine sector across the UK and Ireland.
CARPET RECYCLING PROCESS
1. Carpets collected from council amenity sites
2. Brought back to HQ for weighing
3. Quality checks completed
4. Carpets are baled
5. Sent for further reprocessing for reuse within the equestrian sector for surfacing in show jumping arenas
Usel work in partnership with Belfast City Council, Mid and East Antrim Council, Lisburn and Castlereagh Council and several private companies including Ikea to deliver a furniture re-use service across Northern Ireland. The mission of these partnerships is to tackle furniture poverty and provide quality second hand furniture to families within communities who are most in need.
The furniture is gifted out through a voucher system which allows us to ensure that families within the local communities who are most in need have access to it. Any furniture that cannot be reused is deconstructed and recycled.
We are members of the Re-Use Network and Community Re-Use Network Ireland and are committed to creating real and measurable social impact through our furniture re-use scheme.