Usel and Harvey Norman join forces to combat mattress waste in Northern Ireland

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

Ulster Supported Employment and Learning (Usel), a supporter of people with disabilities and health conditions into employment in Northern Ireland has partnered with interiors retailer, Harvey Norman, to tackle the growing problem of the number of mattresses going to landfill sites.

According to Usel, there are currently 215,000 tonnes of mattresses in landfills across the UK and each mattress is estimated to consume 23 cubic feet of airspace.

"The discarded mattresses are difficult to compact, consume valuable landfill space and can take years to decompose. Their steel innersprings tear up landfill equipment, and they can also absorb hazardous materials into flammable air pockets, causing landfill fire," said Scott Jackson, Usel's circular economy manager.

"In this collaborative partnership Usel and the Harvey Norman Home Centre on Boucher Road and Harvey Norman Holywood Superstore will tackle this growing issue in Northern Ireland," added Jackson. "Harvey Norman offers all of their customers the service of having their old mattress collected when their new mattress is being delivered. These mattresses will be disassembled into various components at Usel recycling facilities in North Belfast. The components will then be segregated and sent on to other facilities for further processing and reused in a number of different ways such as carpet underlay, acoustic dampening in cars and the steel springs are sent to a local metal recycler to be melted down for reuse."

There are reported to be 1.7 million mattresses in Northern Ireland.

"Usel is the only organisation in the province to provide this recycling service where 80% of each mattress can be recycled into other products and diverted from landfill sites,” stated Jackson.


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