Mattress recycling plant opens in Bolton

A new recycling plants will stop thousands of unwanted mattresses ending up in the UK's landfill sites

mattresses should be recycled not landfilled

Mattresses must be recycled not dumped in landfill and this new plant in Bolton goes a long way to tackling the scourge of mattress waste. Recycled materials from mattresses can be used in new products such as carpet underlay, automotive felt and pet bedding. Some fibres are even mixed with Kevlar to make stab-proof vests.

 A new facility has opened in Bolton that will recycle up to a 250,000 mattresses thrown away in the Greater Manchester region every year.

This plant will further reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, and make good use of a wide range of materials that can be recycled into products - such as pet bedding, carpet underlay, and even stab-proof vests.

The plant has also created 25 new jobs and its launch is part of the waste management contract between Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and SUEZ Recycling and Recovery UK.

Skilled mattress dismantlers will manually extract up to 19 different materials from waste mattresses, including steel, latex, foam, polyester, denim, cotton, and horsehair and coconut fibres. These materials are sorted, sanitised and checked for quality, before being taken to re-processing facilities to be used in the manufacture of new products. Each dismantler can process more than 65 mattresses a day, and depending on the condition of the mattresses, up to 85 per cent of materials can be re-used in the circular economy.

Raw materials extracted go to re-processors and manufacturers mostly within 40 miles of the facility, helping support the regional economy. 

To stop fly tipping, new mattress recycling containers have been installed across Greater Manchester’s recycling centre network and mattresses collected will be taken to the Bolton facility.

Councillor Andrew Western, GMCA Lead for the Green City Region, says it's a significant step towards achieving a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly Greater Manchester. 'The majority of mattresses disposed of previously went to landfill or to generate electricity at energy from waste plants, so I'm delighted we now have the capability to recycle these products and put their components to good use.

'And we can help residents do even more for our environment and further reduce the cost and impact associated with landfill.'

The facility has been developed and is operated by specialist recycling contractor The Furniture Recycling Group (TFR) on behalf of SUEZ, and is situated within SUEZ’s waste management facility at Salford Road, Over Hulton, near Bolton.  

TFR Group will employ around 30 staff at the Salford Road site, with 25 new permanent jobs being created through the new facility. 

Anna Bell, contract director for SUEZ says unwanted mattresses are a huge problem for the environment: 'The number of mattresses being thrown away is increasing across the UK and is estimated at 8.5 million a year nationally. Through our partnership with TFR Group we will recycle over 1.5 million mattresses in Greater Manchester over the course of our contract with GMCA, making a significant contribution to our collective efforts to increase recycling rates. SUEZ has been working with TFR Group for over two years to develop the most effective solution to meet Greater Manchester’s mattress recycling needs, and we’re delighted to see the fruits of that collaboration in this new service and facility.”

Residents are urged to keep mattresses as clean and dry as possible when they are ready to be thrown away. If a mattress becomes wet and dirty – if temporarily left outside for example – it can significantly reduce the amount of the material that can be extracted and recycled.