Blue Marble aims to be a national recycler

BedTimes Magazine reports in its March issue:
A major new mattress recycling operation called Blue Marble Materials is set to officially open in the Los Angeles area on March 1.  Read More.

 

 

From Steel to Fibers, the Mattress as Trove - an article from The New York Times

This article was originally posted on Green – A Blog about Energy and the Environment

The typical mattress is a 60-pound chunk of fiber, foam and steel springs. Roughly 8,000 of them end up in American landfills every day. That amounts to nearly 175 million pounds of wasted material a year that slowly rots away there, taking up already diminished space.

It’s a problem that some say requires a federal response, although there is no plan for now to institute mattress recycling on a nationwide scale. But some smaller efforts are inching forward.

On Tuesday, for example, the international nonprofit group Enactus announced that students from Belmont University in Nashville had won the group’s Enactus World Cup for starting up a mattress recycling enterprise. The students’ project, called Spring Back Recycling, hired homeless people and former prison inmates to dismantle mattresses so the materials could be reused.

Ryan Trainer, president of the International Sleep Products Association, which has pushed for the creation of a federal recycling initiative along those lines, said that such projects help call attention to the problem of discarded mattresses in the meantime.

Mr. Trainer said that only 30 or so retail recycling businesses around the country accept mattresses. They are usually far from city centers. he said, and most charge a recycling fee, which may prompt people to dump them in the street instead. Few recycling companies industries are attracted to urban areas because of the high cost of real estate and labor, he added.

Another problem, said Barrie Brown, a mattress retailer who worked with Spring Back Recycling, is the resale of old mattresses disguised as new ones or newly recycled ones. “The used mattresses are recovered with low-cost fabrics and sold as new,” he said in an e-mail. “They merely cover all of the past sins and stains with a slip cover.” That tends to stir suspicions of both mattress retailers and recyclers, he said.

So when it comes to mattresses, many cities skip the recycling option and fast-track them to landfills instead.

Seeking to prevent that from happening to their own discards, plenty of city dwellers head to Internet forums for advice. The suggestion often tends to bedonating them to the Salvation Army or listing the mattress at a Web site like Freecycle, which offers up goods for reuse.

Of course, some people are unwilling to sleep on a donated mattress because of the threat of bedbug infestation a common problem in cities including New York.

While a mattress can be difficult to dismantle, many recyclers will argue that it is the best option of all. With its dense coils of steel, layers of fiber, and occasionally, wood, it is a rich source of reusable material. “The inner spring is of the biggest value – that’s the meat that you want to get out,” said Mr. Trainer, although he acknowledged that it was hardly a fortune. (A set of springs from an average mattress can fetch up to $3.50.) The coils are melted down and sold to steel companies.

The foam and fiber are shredded and used in carpeting and insulation, and any wood can be handed over to a wood chipper. Ridding the material of dirt and bugs involves heating it to high temperatures, which can be expensive, however. And the going price for steel fluctuates..

That’s why Mr. Trainer says that smaller projects like Spring Back Recycling should be scaled up and governments and businesses should support the efforts of the few recycling companies that do accept mattresses. Industry competition could drive down prices and help people rethink their waste cycles, he said.

Hilton Worldwide Announces Mattress Recycling Program: 85% of each hotel mattress to be recycled into products

MCLEAN, Va. –  Hilton Worldwide announced today a new mattress recycling program in coordination with the installation of new Serta mattresses and box springs. Available immediately across all brands in the U.S, the program will recycle approximately 85 percent of our hotels’ mattresses and box springs into various products rather than being diverted to a landfill.

“Our hotels have purchased more than 50,000 mattresses in the past two years in the U.S. alone,” said Randy Gaines, vice president, engineering operations for the Americas at Hilton Worldwide. “This program presents a great opportunity for our hotels globally, offers a cost savings to owners and underscores Hilton Worldwide’s commitment to further reduce our waste output.”

In partnership with DH Hospitality, mattresses will be recycled into other products, including:

  • Steel Springs: Tools, Automobiles, Construction Materials
  • Wood: Tempered Flooring, Particle Board Shelving and a variety of Pressed Wood Products
  • Cotton Fibers: Oil Filters, Mats and Stuffing
  • Quilt Scrap: Carpet Padding

Additionally, through LightStay, the company’s proprietary management system, hotels will be able to report and track the progress of its mattress donation and provide additional items during room renovations to Good360 a program that helps identify local nonprofits in need of cased goods. Last month, Hilton Worldwide reported its 2011 results and announced it has achieved its five-year goal to reduce waste by 20 percent, two years ahead of schedule.

DH Hospitality is a single source turnkey provider offering recycling, installation, liquidation, transportation and warehousing services nationwide. The company will install and remove mattresses for Hilton’s properties ensuring that hotel operations are not affected by the replacement program. DH Hospitality will also ensure that all components of the mattress and box springs are being recycled, not resold or re-covered, by requiring recycling centers to provide a certificate of recycling.

This initiative further supports Hilton Worldwide’s mission to Travel with Purpose and provides shared value to its business and communities around the world. Together with its global partners, the company focuses on: creating opportunities for individuals to reach their full potential; strengthening communities where it operates; celebrating cultures and the power of travel; and living sustainablythrough the measurement, analysis and improvement of its use of natural resources.

For more information on Hilton Worldwide’s sustainability initiatives, visit http://www.hiltonworldwide.com/corporate-responsibility/sustainably.

 

About LightStayTM
LightStayTM is a proprietary system developed to calculate and analyze sustainability performance. LightStay measures multiple utility and operational metrics such as (but not limited to) energy, water, carbon, housekeeping, paper product usage, waste, chemical storage, air quality and transportation. In addition, LightStayTM provides social networking tools that allow properties to communicate and share information, and features a “meeting impact calculator” element that calculates the sustainability impact of any meeting or conference held at a property.

Contact:  Dasha Ross, (703) 883-5805 , dasha.ross@hilton.com

Create jobs...

A sensible mattress recycling program will help to create new jobs.