Surprising what you can make from old mattresses!
Matras Recycling Europe in Utrecht specialises in collecting and dismantling used mattresses, and manages to reuse 95% of the materials released. This is how the company contributes to a sustainable society.
On the fresh, green website of this environmentally aware company, a calf stares at you. A high-quality application of the recycled materials is cow bedding, a thin mattress that gives comfort to a cow in the stable. Judo and yoga mats, wheelbarrow tyres, cushioning material, floor insulation, door and wall insulation and padding for car dashboards are also telling examples.
Director Ruud Kortink says, ‘We are not a waste company, we are a recycler. One and a half to two million mattresses are discarded in the Netherlands every year. We check the foam in the mattress and see whether it can fit into our processing flow. Whether it is suitable for a new product. We’ve already built up a lot of knowledge about what goes into mattresses. I am an industrial designer and have always worked in the manufacturing industry. Together with others, I want to create something that is unique and complex, but above all, useful.’
Matras Recycling Europe works closely with municipalities and retailers to collect old mattresses. Their collection system and processing are so efficient that the company regularly wins tenders because of the good price and high recycling percentage.
For Sports for Children, Matras Recycling Europe mainly processes sports mattresses that come from gyms. ‘I think I should do something for a charitable foundation if it fits and this charity fits very well,’ says Ruud. ‘Our most suitable product is the judo mat. We make another layer of foam, harder than a mattress, containing small pieces of old mattresses. These judo mats offer children the possibility to exercise in countries where sport is not as obvious as it is here.’