City proposing mattress recycling pilot project

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KAWARTHA LAKES-If you are thinking about taking your old mattress to the landfill, you might want to sleep on it.

Approximately 6,000 mattresses a year are taken to landfills in the City of Kawartha Lakes. They take up a lot of space and polyurethane foam,which most are made of, never breaks down. So the City is looking to start a pilot project to divert mattresses from local landfills, recycling them instead.

The majority of the mattresses received in 2016 were brought to the Lindsay Ops site so staff are recommending the implementation of a 19 month pilot mattress recycling program at the Lindsay Ops landfill starting in June 2018. Staff estimates there could be 7000 mattresses diverted from local garbage dumps. Tipping fee’s for mattresses are $15 and the fee would remain the same for recycling. Mattresses could be dropped off at the Lindsay Ops site or alternatively, residents could  purchase a mattress sticker at $15/mattress and set their items out for collection at the curb at any time throughout the year.

Based on the estimate of diverting 7,000 mattresses and/or box springs per year and assuming an average estimate of 0.65 m3 per mattress this equates to 4,550 m3 of deferred landfill space saved per year.

The estimated savings to the City is the capital deferral of $477,750 in landfill space value per year according to a report prepared by staff. In terms of deferred landfill space saved, the city says this will also increase the life of the landfil by 2.3 years. The operation cost to run this program is estimated at $72,600 in year one for 7 months (2018) and $124,500 in year two for 12 months (2019) but this cost is offset by deferral of capital due to landfill space savings.The estimated operation costs for 2018 and 2019 include cost of minor retrofits at the landfill to better accept mattresses, as well as education costs of approximately $5,000.

During the pilot, staff will work with the contractor to determine if there is rationale for recycling mattresses at other sites as well as at the Lindsay Ops landfill. If there is a compelling rationale to expand the program to other landfills within the pilot timelines then Council, the Waste Strategy Task Force and landfill public review committees will be consulted prior to expanding the program to other sites. Mattresses received at the other landfill sites will continue to be accepted for disposal.

Council will vote on the project at Tuesday’s meeting.

Photo Courtesy: Sleep Made to Measure.