Why Recycle Mattresses?
Two of the greatest challenges in middle TN and across the nation are homelessness and solid waste landfills. Currently, homelessness is a felony in the state of TN. Statistics show that it costs over $30,000 a year to house one inmate. The same $30,000 will employ one of our staff with full health and retirement benefits for an entire year, all while recycling close to 3,000 mattresses.
Our program and mission provide solutions to both of these issues. Convert mattresses into reusable materials! We can prevent millions of unnecessary pounds of waste each year through mattress recycling.
- On average, we recycle roughly 50,000 mattresses per year, which is over 3 million cubic feet of landfill space.
- Mattresses range in size from 27 to 60 cubic feet and average 60 lbs.
- Mattresses decompose slowly in a landfill, often taking over a decade.
- If thrown in machinery, mattresses can destroy compacters due to the bulkiness and metal coils. We have developed a process that can truly benefit our community in multiple ways.
What We Do
When we first tore a mattress apart, we were surprised by the amount of foam, cotton, felt, wood, and metal that we found. After disassembly, Spring Back’s strength after disassembly is its ability to source each of these materials to their respective buyers, recycling nearly 100% of each mattress.
So, what happens to these materials? Each material is separated and baled appropriately as every mattress and box spring is deconstructed. Material buyers then repurpose the scrap, giving each mattress a new life.
- Our foam, cotton and felt are repurposed into items such as carpet padding.
- Our Steel is melted at a foundry and ultimately repurposed into new items.
- Our wood is sent to the chipper and repurposed into landscape mulch.
- Spring Back Recycling aims to prevent used mattresses from entering landfills and from recirculating in the secondary market, where they pose ongoing health risks.
- Our goal is to recycle every mattress in the state of TN first, which also creates good jobs for hundreds, potentially thousands of homeless men and women.
- By providing Solid employment, teaching them life and vocational skills, and paying them a living wage with full benefits we offer hope to the previously hopeless.
- We are truly a self-supported social enterprise benefiting all who live here.