What’s happening: A life cycle analysis of the Mattress Recycling Council’s California operations conducted by an independent party found the program provides significant environmental benefits, including substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions along with water and energy usage.
Why it matters: The study found that by recycling mattress components, MRC generated the following annual environmental benefits:
- 75 million fewer pounds of greenhouse gases emitted, which is equivalent to the emissions from driving a gas-fueled vehicle nearly 100 million miles.
- 818 million gallons of water saved, equivalent to an annual consumption of 37,500.
- 174,000-kilowatt hours of power saved, equivalent to the amount of power a city of 40,000 residents would use in one year.
In other words, the materials reclaimed from every mattress recycled saves 500 gallons of water, enough energy to power the average household for three days and reduces greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equivalent to driving 60 fewer miles.
The life cycle analysis (www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org/lca-report) found not only that the materials recovered and reused as a result of MRC’s recycling activities result in carbon savings that far exceed the amount of carbon used to collect, transport and dismantle mattresses, but that it provides other positive environmental benefits.
“Most of our energy consumption and carbon emissions are associated with the collection and transport over 15,000 loads of discarded mattresses annually,” says Mike O’Donnell, MRC’s chief operating officer. “We can make our operations more sustainable by finding efficiencies in our transportation network.”
In 2021, MRC processed 1.6 million mattresses in California and recovered or reused 77 percent of the material, which amounted to MRC reclaiming over 69.2 million pounds of material. Steel and foam constitute the bulk of the recycled materials.
The complete life cycle analysis will be discussed in a Feb. 7 webinar. Register for free at http://bit.ly/3Cw8QP3