The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment Denis Naughten TD has announced further details of mattress amnesties that have been approved for funding under his Department's 2018 Anti-Dumping Initiative (ADI). Over €200,000 has been allocated for approximately 44 events taking place over the summer months.
Bulky household goods such as mattresses are a problem waste stream for local authorities when they are illegally dumped in ditches and green areas around the country. Their size and composition mean that they are difficult for the removal teams to deal with. Furthermore they are unsightly and their presence in an area can serve to encourage further illegal dumping, transforming a green space into a dumping black-spot overnight.
It is hoped that by providing access to these mattress amnesties it will be possible to prevent instances of illegal dumping. Minister Naughten emphasised that "these amnesties have the potential to change illegal dumping behaviour beyond the funding period by creating awareness of the recycling services and options available to the public in managing their bulky waste and promoting pride in our country's appearance."
The amnesties allow householders to drop off old, unwanted mattresses to designated collection centres free of charge. Local authorities are collaborating with a number of mattress recycling facilities to ensure that all the mattresses collected at these events are recycled and diverted from landfill.
Highlighting a current piece of research by the EPA into this specific waste stream, Minister Naughten said "There is potential here to develop a sustainable collection and recycling model for this waste stream. I see this initiative as a demonstration of the circular economy in action- these mattresses will be used to support social enterprises, provide jobs and hands-on work experience while preventing tons of material, including valuable steel, wood and fabrics going to landfill."