The recycling industry is booming as an essential component of the circular economy. According to Maximize Market Research (MMR), the total market value of the waste management and recycling market reached $43.81 billion (£34.93 billion) in the UK, and the overall revenue is anticipated to reach a staggering $62.59 billion (£49.91 billion) by 2030, a 5.22% increase from 2024. [1] Meanwhile, the rate of recycling mattresses remains low. The National Bed Federation (NBF) reports that only 24% of the estimated 6.4 million End of Life (EoL) mattresses are recycled, leaving most of the remaining 76% in landfill. With the NBF’s ambitious target to divert 75% of the landfilled mattresses to recycling under the Extended Producer Responsibility scheme, the mattress recycling industry sees a massive potential for rapid growth. [2]

Like any other industry, speedy market expansion usually significantly impacts the economy. The expansion of the mattress recycling industry has considerable effects on job creation, resource conservation, customer cost saving, and social welfare. 

Job Creation

With the UK government’s steadfast commitment to the circular economy, up to 150,000 jobs are estimated to be added to the reuse and recycling industry by 2035. [3] As a crucial sector of the circular economy, the mattress recycling industry is closely associated with the hike in jobs created. 

Mattress Recycling Companies and Facilities 

In mattress recycling companies or facilities, old mattresses need to be dismantled and recyclable materials such as foam and spring need to be sorted by hand or machinery. Non-recyclables such as contaminated mattresses and waste ticking are usually sent for processing as biofuel. Skilled workers are required throughout the process. In addition, other relevant positions such as managers, administrators and drivers are also needed in these companies or facilities. The growth of the mattress recycling sector will undoubtedly lead to a surging demand for relevant jobs. 

Manufacturing Industry

Once the recyclable materials are separated and sorted, they are sent to various manufacturers for producing new commodities. For example, the metal coils from old mattresses, typically made from steel, could be melted down and refined to create new products like appliances, cars, and even new mattresses. The manufacturing process requires the involvement of proficient workers at every stage. 

An extensive range of machines also needs to be built for the mattress recycling industry, which creates employment opportunities. For instance, balers are commonly used to compress recyclable materials for storage and transportation. 

Resource Conservation

Mattress recycling conserves valuable resources by recovering materials that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills. Skilled workers usually manually extract up to 19 materials found in mattresses, including steel, latex, foam, polyester, denim, cotton, horsehair, and coconut fibres. These materials will then undergo sorting, sanitization, and quality checks before being transported to various reprocessing facilities to be used in the production of new goods.[4] Mattress recycling effectively reduces the demand for raw materials by maximising the potential for resource efficiency. 

Cost Saving

While purchasing a brand-new mattress can be costly, a refurbished one presents a budget-friendly alternative. Refurbished mattresses often come at a fraction of the cost, with potential savings of up to 50% compared to the new ones. Moreover, many refurbished mattresses are accompanied by warranties and trial periods, providing consumers with added peace of mind and confidence in their purchase.

Giving Back to the Community 

Part of the mattress recycling process involves donating some mattresses to charity, depending on their condition. This practice not only promotes eco-friendly initiatives but also positively impacts the community by supplying bedding for those in need. Additionally, these donations play a role in bolstering the local economy by bridging a cycle of community support and economic growth.

Recycle with King Size Recycling today to positively contribute to the economy.

Works Cited

[1] Maximize Market Research. “UK Waste Management and Recycling Market: Industry Analysis and Forecast (2024-2030).” 2024, https://www.maximizemarketresearch.com/market-report/uk-waste-management-and-recycling-market/222529/.

[2] NBF. “National Bed Federation Publishes Fourth Mattress End of Life Report.” The National Bed Federation, 4 October 2022, https://www.bedfed.org.uk/national-bed-federation-publishes-fourth-mattress-end-of-life-report/. 

[3] edie. “Report: UK could create 450,000 jobs through circular economy transition.” edie, 4 August 2021, https://www.edie.net/report-uk-could-create-450000-jobs-through-circular-economy-transition/. 

[4] GMCA. “New mattress recycling facility opens in Greater Manchester.” Greater Manchester Combined Authority, 30 October 2020, https://www.greatermanchester-ca.gov.uk/news/new-mattress-recycling-facility-opens-in-greater-manchester/.