Spring cleaning; Group’s mattress recycling may spread

The recycling operation spreads over the U.S.

St. Vincent de Paul Society has launched a program of pilot futon mattress recycle on the West Coast. It is expected to extend to all over the country.

A social organization named Lane County has its headquarter in Eugene. In Dec 2000, it had the first operation via a center in Oakland, Calif. to have polyurethanes recycled at the lower cost. The center is 10,000 square feet in width, and achieves success in this program so that they are going to establish similar places in other cities.

According to Don Schomer – Bayer Corp.’s market development director, from the time it starts, the center has recouped parts from in excess of 28,000 queen size futon mattresses. He also works as an executive of the Alliance for the Polyurethanes Industry's Polyurethanes Recycle and Recovery Council. During this time, about 800 polyurethane foam pounds have been recovered.

Lyle Harris, executive of the Oakland focus and Lane County reusing business improvement chief for the St. Vincent de Paul Society, said sleeping cushions contain from six to eight pounds of polyurethane, and the material has a high reusing worth. ``The affect on landfills is staggering,'' Harris said. ``Each sleeping pad takes up 23 cubic feet of landfill space. Over the previous year, we have possessed the capacity to redirect 93 percent of the material from every sleeping pad from going into landfills.''

Lyle Harris is the Lane County business development director of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and director of the Oakland center. She said that there are about 6 to 8 polyurethane pounds in each futon mattress and this amount of material includes high value of recycle. “You cannot believe the effect of it on landfills,” said Harris. “23 cubic feet is the landfill space that a futon mattress can take up. For one year, about 93% of futon mattress material has been diverted into the landfills.”

Spring cleaning; Group's mattress recycling may spread

As Schomer stated, the success of this center has been built up from many factors, among them the key one is the ability to come up with quick-change market of recycled futon mattress materials. They are trying to keep up with potential customers via the support of polyurethanes council. Moreover, they also receive some financial support and assistance as well. International Sleep Products Association also provide a program of start-up technical support to this society.

There are three materials in futon mattresses which can be sold: cotton fibers, steel and polyurethane foam.

For example, you can utilize the recovered foam for the underlay of the carpet. The API estimates that 900 million pounds of adaptable polyurethane scrap is reused into reinforced cover pad and various items yearly.

Currently, the center has signed an agreement about the solid waste with Alameda County, Calif. At the same time, Harris contacts with the best futon mattress reviews company about their return policy. He noted “The futon mattress manufacturers and retailers need to work together about product return and make it become an attractive source of recycling.”

However, until now the schedule of taking the recycling program to the scale of nation is not unveiled. Harris stated that it will start soon. Los Angeles or Denver may be the next places that the business development director want to place his new futon mattress recycling center.

He plans to set up the operation like one in Oakland and will be administrated from Eugene office. “We will do everything in Eugene,” said Harris. “We is used to working with the society in Oakland and deeply acknowledge what we desire to do. In the new place, we will call for investment, find a professional manager. Once or twice a month, I will go there for a review.”

“Not only futon mattress, we are deploying the recycling operation for other appliances and materials in other places. But, we still try our best to control all the things.”

Due to the success, the society can bring its model of recycling center to any states in the U.S. Now they are looking for the potential in recycling sofas, beds and other furniture as well.

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Larry K. Jones
 

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