Mattress mountain sparks investigation
  • Friday 03 July 2009

A recent council audit has revealed a staggering 18,000 mattresses head to landfill each year, sparking an investigation by Council’s Waste Strategy Taskforce into recycling opportunities.

Waste Taskforce Chair, Cr Keryn Jones, said she was shocked to learn the number of mattresses the Sunshine Coast send to landfill and said this represented a great recycling opportunity.

“Given the size of your average mattress, we are currently wasting 9000 cubic metres of landfill to mattresses as they are very hard to compact, which is costing ratepayers close to half a million dollars each year,” Cr Jones said.

“This is a phenomenal amount of space currently allocated to mattresses and with our landfills rapidly reaching capacity, it is more important than ever to employ innovative solutions to ensure we keep recyclable material out of landfill.

“Council is investigating the implementation of a program that would recycle as many elements from old mattresses as possible.”

Council’s Waste Projects and Contracts Manager and Waste Strategy Taskforce member, David Clark said a number of recycling opportunities existed for maximising the re-use of our mattresses.

“Reconditioned mattresses can be distributed to charity organisations, while a number of resources can be recovered for re-use in industry such as wood and coconut fibres, latex, wadding and foam, metal springs and some fabrics,” Mr Clark said.

“This is also an opportunity to create green jobs and a new industry on the Sunshine Coast, with Council planning to invite tenders from a number of companies who specialise in mattress recycling and are looking to expand their business in our region.”

The Regional Waste Strategy Taskforce consists of a mix of industry and council representatives, local experts and community recyclers charged with the task of researching and making recommendations for a new Sunshine Coast waste management strategy.

The Waste Strategy Taskforce is preparing to present Council with its recommendations at the end of July and following this, community members will be invited to have their say.

Residents can register their interest now in upcoming feedback opportunities via Council’s website.

Cr Jones said Council would contact interested residents once the community engagement phase is about to commence and invite them to participate in a variety of feedback forums, as well as inviting feedback from the wider public.

“This is your chance to contribute to a sustainable Sunshine Coast, so register your interest today in shaping the future of waste management,” she said.

To learn more about the Regional Waste Strategy Taskforce or to register your interest in up-coming feedback opportunities on the Taskforce recommendations visit Council’s website: www.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au and follow the links from the home page.