Winner: Eco Mattress Recycling Ltd, Dublin
Eco Mattress Recycling Ireland Ltd is a Social Economy Enterprise, providing C.E. trainees on back to work schemes with valuable work experience through both in-house and offsite accredited training programmes. The mattress recycling operation is now fully functional and has a fully permitted recycling facility with written work instructions detailing all stages of the recycling process.
From May 2013 to April 2014 ECO Mattress has prevented one hundred and seventy tonnes of waste material going to landfill sites. This includes nearly 100 tonnes of combustible waste suitable for R.F.D./S.R.F. and a further fifty five tonnes of steel springs for processing by fully permitted recycling companies. Over seven tonnes of wood extracted from bed bases is recycled as kindling, and the remaining eight tonne of materials accounted for through work in progress and stock in hand. A sustainable social economy enterprise that can generate a reasonable gross profit annually has been created.
This project illustrates how a community based enterprise working in conjunction with state agencies can provide much-needed employment opportunities for people of limited work expectations in Dublin City while at the same time making a significant contribution to waste minimisation and landfill reduction. It is the only facility in Ireland that recycles used and damaged mattresses. Nothing goes to waste in the stripping down of old mattresses – the timber carcasses are used for fire kindle, springs and other metals are recycled and cloth and other material is used for firing kilns in the cement industry. This is a truly admirable enterprise.