A Toowoomba Regional Council (TRC) mattress processing trial starting in November is expected to divert at least 3000 items from landfill per year when fully operational.

TRC Water and Waste portfolio leader Cr Nancy Sommerfield said Council was expanding its recycling opportunities at the Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility at O’Mara Road.

“Council is committed to diverting as much recyclable material as possible from landfill to reduce operating costs and promote further environmental benefits,” Cr Sommerfield said.

“Large bulky items like mattresses have posed challenges up to now as they do not compact easily, due to the springs, and take up significant landfill space.

“The six-week trial will involve cutting open the mattresses and removing the springs. The springs can be sold as scrap metal.

“A future option could involve removing the foam which potentially has a resale value. This will be further investigated after the trial.

“Council officers will test the logistics of the operation, including the time it takes to process each mattress.

“The mattresses will be processed at the facility’s residual waste transfer building.

“Customers who arrive with mattresses at the Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility will be directed by gatehouse officers to the correct recycling area.”

Cr Sommerfield said 3000 mattresses were received at the Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility annually, with around another 2000 received at other regional facilities.

TRC Water and Waste Committee chair Cr Rebecca Vonhoff said the mattress trial was in addition to Council’s mid-year addition of polystyrene recycling at the Greater Toowoomba Waste Management Facility.

Cr Vonhoff said the volume of polystyrene accepted at the facility was increasing each month with 120 compressed blocks produced in September. The polystyrene can be recycled for use in cladding and flooring products.

“This resulted in a saving of 260m³ of landfill space for the month,” Cr Vonhoff said.

“Residents also have been enthusiastic about recycling e-waste (electrical and electronic items) across the region.

“The cumulative effect of additional recycling will see a significant reduction in material ending up in our landfills. Apart from reducing our operating costs, it also helps Council reach the state government’s waste reduction targets.”

For a full list of recyclable items and links to firms and organisations that offer recycling drop-off facilities, please visit www.tr.qld.gov.au/recycling 

Caption: The trial will divert mattresses from landfill and recycle various components.