How a nationwide slowdown in housing sales put a kink in Colorado’s mattress recycling

The Colorado Sun – June 13, 2024

CEDC Director Laurie Johnson was interviewed by The Colorado Sun to comment on the challenges of mattress recycling and the importance of creating a circular economy solution to help keep mattresses out of the landfill. An excerpt from the article follows.

Used mattress foam piling up at Spring Back Colorado’s recycling plant in Commerce City is due to a lack of a market, a problem that recyclers of other materials are wrestling with, too.

… In Colorado, a law passed in 2022 to try to try to figure out more ways to give all materials an afterlife. Circular Colorado, which won the state’s contract to develop the Circular Economy Development Center and find new end markets for recyclable materials last year, is working on a plan for all materials, including mattresses, said Laurie Johnson, founder and CEO.

“Mattresses are a huge problem and absolutely solvable. Even with foam. It doesn’t need to go to California. I mean that’s one place,” she said. “In a circular economy, recycling is one piece of it. And then it’s really manufacturing and transportation. … It’s where the markets are for it and if the markets aren’t here, the transportation costs usually make it not feasible to do.”

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