GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (FOX) – To save space and the environment, Mesa County’s 2022 budget includes an extended contract for mattress hauling and recycling, but mattresses are only part of the problem.
Landfills have been around for centuries, but inevitably they run out of space.
Mesa County’s landfill spans 127 acres and available space is shrinking. “We’ve only got so much air space that will allow us to dump trash out there,” Cody Davis, Mesa County Commissioner said.
30 million mattresses end up in U.S. landfills each year and in Mesa County, we see more than 15,000.
Mesa County hopes to save space working with a local recycling company, Spring Back Colorado. “Mattresses take up an incredible amount of air space out in the dump and it costs us hundreds of thousands of dollars in air space every year,” Davis says.
More than just freeing up space, mattress recycling reduces this expensive, toxic, and unnecessary demand on critically over burdened landfills. “The landfill only has a certain amount of years to it and so with us taking all of the mattresses out of the land fill we’ve extended our life, the life of the landfill for years,” Davis said.
The program with Spring Back Colorado helps not only extend the life of landfills, but also our planet. “We have sent out two loads per week, approximately 140 mattresses per load and to date we have sent out 4,500 mattresses,” Ryan Kyle, Solid Waste Management says.
Although this is a great start, officials with Mesa County’s landfill wish someone locally would improve recycling efforts. “It is very limited, right now in Grand Junction there isn’t anybody that takes mattresses,” Kyle says, “the facility Spring Back Colorado they currently take 6,200 mattresses per month and we send all of our mattresses there, we are trying to get something locally it would be a great business for somebody to start.”
Mattresses are 90% recyclable. Spring Back Colorado, breaks down mattresses into individual components, like wood, steel, cotton, and foam which are then recycled or re-purposed.
Nobody here locally in Grand Junction reuses mattresses and recycling programs in general, are stretched thin.