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Funding for mattress recycling innovators in Wales

United Kingdom – Following a competitive application process, three bidders have been selected for funding of further work into the most efficient method for recycling mattresses.

In partnership with Innovate UK, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council in the south of Wales and the Welsh government invested £350 000 (US$ 445 000) in a competition launched last November in which businesses and other organisations were asked to come forward with solutions for recycling the textiles in mattresses.

The three successful bidders – Commons Vision, The Furniture Recycling Group/Resource Futures and the University of South Wales – have been awarded funding to undertake further work on feasibility and to produce detailed bids for a pilot-scale operation.

The next element of the competition will be an interview stage. In 2012, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council unveiled a purpose-built machine which breaks down the components of a mattress, with the potential to process 100 000 of them per year.

‘Once separated, steel found in mattresses has sustainable markets, but recycling companies are put off textile materials due to contamination that potentially occurs during use,’ the council explains.

Ann Crimmings, the council’s cabinet member for environment and leisure, adds: ‘The mattress recycling competition has the potential to ensure every component of a mattress is recycled.’

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