Mattress recycling rate falls
Mattress recycling rates in the UK fell from 16% in 2014 to just 13% in 2015, according to Oakdene Hollins' research for The National Bed Federation.
In its updated End of Life Mattress Report, which includes 2015 figures from Local Authorities, the National Bed Federation acknowledges that mattress recycling fell between 2014 and 2015 - probably due to increased sales of new mattresses and decreased recycling capacity nationwide. “We identified four recycling companies which had either closed or stopped accepting mattresses in 2014 and 2015,” says Oakdene Hollins' Nia Bell, who wrote the report on behalf of the NBF.
Dr Bell's report estimates that the 5% decrease in mattress recycling between 2014 and 2015 was driven by an 11% decrease in recycling reported by local authorities. Contributing factors may be that local councils are often obliged to take the lowest cost option for mattress disposal (such as landfill or energy from waste treatment) and that there are difficulties in ensuring that recyclers comply with all the necessary regulations.
Recycling in the commercial sector by retailers, manufacturers and prisons grew 39% between 2014 and 2015, with retailers responsible for 70% of this growth as they continue to offer mattress take-back with the sale of new mattresses.
There are large regional variations in local authority mattress recycling rates, with Wales reporting the highest recycling rate per head of population and East Anglia the lowest.