TFRG which is continuing to work with John Lewis this year, said today (27 April) that the 2016 figures meant it had diverted about 1,500 tonnes of waste from landfill.
In a statement, the TFRG said that providing the mattress recycling service “helps to support” John Lewis “customers to responsibly dispose of their mattresses, and is a valuable add-on service.”
John Lewis currently charges £24.95 for mattress collection and for responsible “disposal” of the old one. The retailer’s collection charge is higher than that for waste electrical appliances, such as fridges, which is £15 – at present there is no producer responsibility requirement on mattresses unlike WEEE although Defra is thought to be assessing the scope for extending producer responsibility schemes.
Mattress recycling in parts of the UK has seen controversy over the years with some being illegally dumped after being paid to take the mattresses away. However, the “trustworthy” stature of TFRG has been highlighted by John Lewis’s sustainability manager Ben Thomas.
Mr Thomas said: “For our mattress recycling service, we knew we needed to find a partner who would be trustworthy and had a plan for the future. After conducting thorough research into the industry it became clear that Nick Oettinger at The Furniture Recycling Group was the person we wanted to work with.”
“Nick has a solid, well-established end market for the recyclate. He is also very innovative and forward-thinking, and is continually looking to improve the mattress recycling process. His enthusiasm and knowledge of the industry really struck a note with us during the tender process and we trust him implicitly.”
And, Mr Thomas added: “In the future we hope to go even further and find new uses for the materials extracted from the mattresses we send to TFRG, to help close the loop on waste. With the help of Nick and his team, we’re very optimistic about the future of mattress recycling.”
At the FRG the mattresses are broken down into components. The company has outlets for the material and also manufactures new mattresses using a recycled content and these are sold under the R and R Beds brand.
Mr Oettinger said: “We’re very proud that John Lewis chose to work with us on this project, and it’s so reassuring to see retailers are now thinking about the end of life scenario for their products. Since launch we have diverted over one million mattresses and 3,500 tonnes of mattress components from landfill.”