Regional District of Nanaimo new waste diversion initiatives include mattress recycling

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As reported in the Parksville Qualicum News, the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) is working to implement new waste management initiatives, including mattress recycling, that will help the municipality reach its goal of 90 percent waste diversion from landfill.

The new waste diversion initiatives focus on the strategies of reduce, reuse and recycle. They include zero-waste kits, compost giveaways, non-stewarded residential household hazardous waste collection and mattress recycling.

As more communities focus on banning single-use plastics and other items, there is a demand for reusable items. The RDN is introducing “ReThink Waste” branded zero-waste kits that include reusable produce bags; reusable cloth snack bags and reusable straws. The plan is to offer these as prizes and giveaways throughout the year at RDN and affiliated community events.

The Solid Waste Services Department for the RDN owns and operates the Regional Landfill, Church Road Transfer Station and provides residential garbage collection and recycling service to more than 29,000 households in the region. The RDN has made a long-term commitment to achieving Zero Waste, reducing garbage, conserving resources, reducing greenhouse gases and creating a more sustainable region.

Mattress Recycling

Mattresses have a compaction rate 400% less than regular garbage, thus making them a problem in all landfills. Recycling mattresses in other Canadian jurisdictions has had mixed success.

The mattresses collected by the RDN are recycled by Recycle Matter. Recycle Matters is an INEO Employment Services Job Creation Partnership (JCP). INEO is an organization that provides work for individuals who normally would not gain employment within the community. The JCP was also funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

As of November 8th of last year, the RDN diverted 710 mattresses from the landfill for recycling by Recycle Matters.

Recycle Matters employs three individuals (two general labourers and one business/office administrator) to work with a supervisor and the project manager to set-up a mattress recycling facility.

The company salvages parts of the mattress such as springs, foam and textiles that are shipped out to companies for re- purposing. Up to 95 percent of the mattress can be recycled.

With respect to mattresses, the RDN has a surcharge for mattresses and box springs of $15 per unit.