AUGUST 2008

Mattress recycling is strong in Montreal
Current Canadian law makes it illegal to renovate old mattresses

Stacked mattresses are stored until ready to be processed for recycling by MattCanada.

MattCanada is committed to improving the environment and it is willing to train potential competitors for free in order to do accomplish that.

According to founder and president Abdul Erdem, MattCanada receives many calls for advice from companies and municipalities in Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, France, and other countries.

Many new recycling companies fail, but Erdem is happy if they succeed. “Mattress recycling, however, takes time and knowledge and patience. If people are thinking of getting into this business to become millionaires, forget about it.”

Based in Montreal, the company processes 20 to 25 percent of the mattresses going out of service in its region, and it dismantles between 500 and 1,000 mattresses a day. In the past four years, it dismantled 250,000 mattresses – recently moving to automation.

Although it also recycles couches, clothing, appliances, and other materials, mattresses constitute 90 percent of the volume handled. About 30 percent of each mattress is polyurethane, says Erdem, and MattCanada recycles 80,000 pounds of polyurethane every month. It cannot recycle straw mattresses or mattresses that are waterlogged, nor can it recycle any polyurethane attached to metal.

MattCanada charges approximately $10 for each mattress accepted, while a landfill tip fee is about $5. Most companies, however, don’t hesitate to pay a little more to help the environment. “If the big companies are willing.” says Erdem, “anything is possible.”

Some entities, mainly individuals, still send their mattresses to the landfill to save money. “With no regulations,” Erdem points out, “it’s tough to compete with that.” He can foresee the day, however, when Quebec will pass laws requiring that many more things be recycled.

MattCanada has earned the trust of their clients. Unlike in the United States, it is illegal in Canada to renovate mattresses. MattCanada destroys most mattresses on the day they arrive, and they have security measures in place to guard against theft. Manufacturers know that any mattresses they send to MattCanada will not be rebuilt.

For more information on mattress recycling, contact the International Sleep Products Association by visiting their website: www.sleepproducts.org .