CHESHIRE — A recent mattress recycling event brought out scores of vehicles, mattresses strapped to the roofs, queued up out to Route 10 waiting to get into the drop off site.
Town officials sent out an automated call the night before, changing the location from behind town hall to the Leonard Harmon Youth Center next to the high school.
Among those taking advantage of the Saturday recycling program, was Cheshire’s Matthew Ehmka. He pulled up to the site, his vehicle towing a small trailer filled with mattresses. Ehmka had been waiting for the opportunity as his old mattresses had been languishing in his garage. Helping Ehmka and others unload their mattresses were members of Bridgeport’s Park City Green.
By 10 a.m., town residents had dropped off more than 400 mattresses, according to Daniel McGowan, Northeast Program Coordinator with the Mattress Recycling Council.
The council works to discourage dumping and promote recycling. Its mattress program dubbed “Bye Bye Mattress,” has recycled more than 775,000 mattresses in Connecticut since 2015. The Mattress Recycling Council’s website notes the amount of mattresses recycled “equates to over 13,000 tons of material diverted from the state’s waste stream in just five years.”
The recycling council estimates 50,000 mattresses are discarded each day in the U.S.
Most mattress components – 75 percent according to MRC – can be recycled. The council states the materials can be “recycled into new consumer and industrial products, diverting valuable resources from the waste stream. Foam, steel, wood, cotton and other fibers from old mattresses can be turned into appliances, carpet padding, mulch and more.” In addition to the more than 130 towns in Connecticut, MRC also offers services to and partners with hotels, colleges and junk haulers.