A £350,000 fund has been launched to extend a mattress recycling initiative in south Wales.
The Welsh Government and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are offering the money for an “innovative solution” to allow every part of a mattress to be recycled. It will support the development and commercialisation of technologies, processes and business models.
Rhondda Cynon Taf already owns one of the few machines that can completely break down a mattress ready for recycling. It has the potential to recycle 100,000 mattresses a year.
The Welsh Government is contributing £227,500 of the total to develop plans for taking heat from a food waste treatment plant to boil water that sterilises mattress textiles.
Welsh environment minister Lesley Griffiths (pictured below) said: “If successful, the project will see an increase in market demand for waste mattress textiles, a market which is severely underdeveloped in Wales and the UK.
“Wales is leading the way with recycling in the UK and is well on course to meet its 70% recycling rate by 2025. However, we can always do more, and it is through thinking creatively and devising sustainable solutions that we can become the highest recycling nation in Europe.”
Ann Crimmings, council cabinet member for environment, said: “Our mattress recycling service has proved to a great success since its launch four years ago. But this competition will mark an important step forward for the scheme, and build on the core of our values in Rhondda Cynon Taf to recycle as much as we possibly can.
“In 2015 the council was crowned the ’fastest improving’ in Wales for its recycling efforts. In 2016 we have once again secured our place in the top 10 by hitting over 61%. This is something that all residents can all be proud of – but we can still do more.
“This latest development showcases how we as a council are looking at how we can recycle as much as we possibly can, and we are encouraging our residents to recycle just one extra item each – together we can hit the 70% target set for 2025.”
A briefing event on the competition, which closes on 13 January, will be held on 2 December at the Cardiff Marriott Hotel. Shortlisted organisations will be invited for an interview in February.