Recycle Ann Arbor is constantly looking for ways in which to decrease the quantity of material sent to landfill.
The Drop-Off Station (DOS), located at 2950 E. Ellsworth Road, targets recyclable materials originating from homes and small businesses. It is the largest public drop-off site in Michigan. Customers bring a range of waste types to the site, and Recycle Ann Arbor works to limit the amount of this material sent to landfill. Currently around 50% of the material brought to the DOS is sent for recycling. Recycle Ann Arbor seeks to increase diversion by finding recycling outlets for materials which have historically been disposed of at landfill. The DOS recycles automotive fluids, paper and card, tires, metals, yard waste, concrete, electronics, and a range of other smaller materials.
Effective July 1st, Recycle Ann Arbor is launching a mattress recycling program, operating from the Drop-Off Station. Diversion of this material from landfill will benefit the environment as the slow degradation process in landfill produces methane and precipitates metals into landfill leachate. Recycling mattresses will help Recycle Ann Arbor achieve its mission of serving the environment by maximizing waste diversion. From May 2012 to April 2013, the DOS received over 1,500 mattresses and box springs, which unfortunately had to be disposed of at landfill. By working together with Michigan Mattress Recycling, located in Gaylord, MI. Recycle Ann Arbor will keep this material out of landfill, enabling the components to be reused and recycled.
Recycle Ann Arbor hopes that with the launch of this service more residents will bring their mattresses the Drop-Off Station for recycling, rather than disposing of them at landfill via their household waste service. Nationally, an estimated 14 million mattresses are thrown in landfill each year and only 2% of waste mattresses are recycled. Michigan Mattress Recyclers is the first mattress recycler in Michigan, and one of only a few in the country! The Company was created out of the desire to prevent waste mattresses being discarded in Michigan’s forests, alleys, and in limited landfill space. Another primary objective was to create new jobs in an area with an unemployment rate above the national average.
Mattress recycling opportunities are growing across the Country. Even the Navy has been taking advantage of mattress recycling by recycling mattresses from decommissioned ships.
Once delivered to the processing facility in Gaylord, Michigan Mattress Recycling employees fillet the mattresses and divide up the components, which are used in the following way:
- Polyurethane foam is recycled into Carpet underlay
- Cotton is recycled into various insulation
- Fabric ticking/Dacron is used in the making of archery targets
- Cotton shoddy can be used for paper
- Coconut coir used by landscapers who can use it in grow pots
- Steel goes for recycling into new steel products
- Wood is chipped for Power Generation
From April 2012 to May 2013, Michigan Mattress Recycling diverted over 8,000 mattresses and box springs from landfills throughout Michigan.
Customers arriving at the Drop-Off Station with mattresses should first report to the gatehouse and pay the necessary recycling fee. The fees have been adjusted to incorporate the additional recycling and haulage costs.
Fees as of July 1st, 2013:
- $15 for a twin or double/full
- $20 for a queen or king
Note: this change does not increase revenue for Recycle Ann Arbor.
Gatehouse staff will instruct the customer to take the mattress into the barn where they will be able to place it into the trailer. Assistance is available for customers when required. Mattresses with possible bug bed infestations will not be accepted for recycling and must go to landfill. Once the trailer is full it will be hauled to Michigan Mattress Recycling for processing.
Recycle Ann Arbor hopes to extend the mattress recycling service beyond the Drop-Off Station, and in the future envisions working with businesses and individuals who produce regular quantities of mattresses, which have previously been landfilled. By working together with local organizations and businesses, Recycle Ann Arbor hopes to maximize the environmental benefits of the service.
For more information on the mattress recycling program contact Becky Andrews, Drop-Off Station Manager at email@example.com The Drop-Off Station can be contacted directly at 734-971-7400.
Recycle Ann Arbor’s Drop-Off Station is the state’s largest community recycling drop-off center. It is located at 2950 East Ellsworth Road, just west of Platt Road. The facility is open Tuesday and Thursday 8:30am – 6:00pm and Saturday 9:00am to 6:00pm.