Socially responsible mattress recycling scheme to commence in ACT

Released 18/03/2016

UPDATED MEDIA RELEASE as of 10.28am 18/03/16

Mattress recycling will soon be up and running in the ACT creating a scheme that will be socially and environmentally beneficial to Canberra.

Minister for Transport and Municipal Services Meegan Fitzharris said the scheme, which comes into effect on 4 April 2016, will stop more than 18,000 mattresses from going into landfill each year and provide employment opportunities for disadvantaged Canberrans through a new social enterprise.

“From 4 April you will be able to drop off your old mattress at the new facility in Hume, or have it conveniently picked up for you. It will then be recycled, diverting thousands of tonnes of waste from going to landfill each year.

“In the ACT, mattresses are currently shredded and most of the product is disposed of in landfill. The average mattress contains 12.5kg of steel, 4kg of foam and 12kg for a wooden base, so being able to separate these materials for recycling will make a huge difference.

“The new facility at the Hume Sheds will be operated by Soft Landing, a social enterprise with a proven and successful track record operating recycling initiatives in NSW. This joint ACT Government and Soft Landing project will make it possible to recycle up to 90 percent of mattress components, while creating employment opportunities for people who might be finding it hard to find work,” Minister Fitzharris said.

To support this social enterprise the ACT Government will encourage people to drop off mattresses directly to Soft Landing at the Hume Sheds on John Cory Circuit from 7.30am to 3.30pm Monday to Friday for $23 per piece.

There will also be a collection service so Canberra residents can book and pre-pay $29.50 to have their mattress picked up from their home. Residents will not have to be present at the time of pick up.

And there is an option to drop your mattress off at the Mitchell and Mugga Lane Resource Management Centres for $33 per piece. The new pricing arrangements will mean an ensemble will equate to two pieces and both the base and the mattress will be recycled. The new pricing arrangements will be introduced from 4 April 2016.

“There will be a price increase in the cost of disposing of your mattress once this scheme is up and running, but we think it is worth it considering the great social and environmental benefits the scheme will have. The prices are in line with other jurisdictions,” said Minister Fitzharris.

Bill Dibley, National Operations Manager of Soft Landing, is very excited to replicate their successful and award winning social enterprise model here in the ACT.

“Soft Landing is all about maximising the social and environmental outcomes for government and the communities in the regions where we work,” Mr Dibley said. 

“We will work with local employment providers and community partners to provide 75 percent of positions to people in the community who are experiencing barriers to work,” Mr Dibley said.

- Statement ends -

Section: Meegan Fitzharris, MLA | Media Releases

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