CITY of Swan is helping turn unwanted rubbish into beds for disadvantaged people in remote WA communities.
The initiative, initiated by the City’s contractor Spider Waste, collects unwanted and discarded mattresses and recycles and repurposes them.
The good quality used mattresses that are salvageable are steam cleaned, packed into sea containers and sent to central towns for distribution to remote communities.
Spider Waste owner Rob Santoro said he started sending the re-useable mattresses to communities in need last year, sending around 90 at a time.
He said the initiative had both environmental and social benefits.
“I can’t really see the send in stripping them down if they can be used by people who really need them,” he said.
“We also include a few other items like bicycles in the sea containers and it’s all been really well received by the communities.”
In the past two years, more than 180 tonnes of mattresses were disposed of in the City of Swan, which were then diverted from landfill and recycled.
Other mattresses collected by the city, which are not able to be reused, are taken apart, with metal components sold as scrap, the foam is turned into carpet underlay, and timber and pocket springs used to make dog beds.
Mayor Mick Wainwright said the recycling process had also created jobs for people with disabilities.
He said the initiative was reducing the amount of waste going into landfill.
“The average mattress takes up almost a square metre of space in landfill,” he said.
“Most mattresses contain about 12.5kg of steel, 2kg if wood and 1.5kg of foam, all of which can be recycled.”
Used mattresses can be disposed of free at one of the City of Swan’s regular recyclable good drop-off days.
For more information visit www.swan.wa.gov.au.