Reuse Consortium Coordinator Nicola Aeberli visited Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company in Irvine to see its showroom and warehouse and find out more about its mattress reuse project, which the team have developed in partnership with North Ayrshire Council’s Waste Services department over the last year.
This project was developed in response to an increased demand for reuse mattresses from North Ayrshire Council for their Scottish Welfare Fund, which Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company supply through the Reuse Consortium.
Following a successful funding award from Zero Waste Scotland’s Recycling Improvement Fund, Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company was able to purchase cleaning and sanitising equipment to professionally clean mattresses in house, as well as training staff to use the equipment. The increased supply of reuse mattresses for cleaning will come from North Ayrshire Council’s four Household Waste Recycling Centres, where mattress-specific reuse containers will be installed, also paid for by the Zero Waste Scotland grant.
This will enable the public to donate unwanted mattresses and Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company to collect them for biological cleaning, sanitising, and preparing for reuse.
Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company has also started offering the public a free uplift service of reusable mattresses, as well as an offer to collect non-reusable mattresses for a small fee when customers purchase another item from them. This aims to to encourage people to donate rather than dispose of their unwanted mattresses. Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company guarantee that it will reuse or recycle 100 per cent of donated mattresses, with none going to landfill.
This project will save a huge number of mattresses from going to landfill or being fly tipped and is a big positive for both North Ayrshire Council, who reduce waste and fly tipping in the local area, and for Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company, increasing the quantity of reuse mattresses it receives, enabling it to meet increased Reuse Consortium demand and support its charitable activities in the community. These include providing free household items to those in need and creating jobs and training opportunities for local people struggling to re-enter employment.
Since January 2022, the mattress reuse project has already led to 372 mattresses (almost 9,000 kg) being diverted from landfill, with an impressive 345 of these being reused and 27 recycled. This has saved over 24,500 kg of equivalent CO2 emissions.
Scott Mould, Head of Social and Economic Development Services at Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company, said:
“We are hugely proud of what we have achieved so far through working in partnership with North Ayrshire Council on the mattress reuse project, benefitting both the environment and disadvantaged local people. We are looking forward to the continued expansion of this project, meaning that CFRC will be able to reuse many more mattresses and save them from a potential fate in the landfill. Our relationship with the Waste Services and Scottish Welfare Fund teams at North Ayrshire Council is excellent and has been strengthened by this partnership opportunity.”
Reuse Consortium Coordinator Nicola commented:
“A project such as this demonstrates the great things that can be achieved when a local authority and local social enterprise work together for positive change in their community. I hope that this will encourage others to do the same.”