29 May 2024, 16:39
By Furniture News Apr 24, 2023

Mattress recycler register launches with three members

A long-awaited Register of Approved Mattress Recyclers (RAMR) is now up and running, with an initial three members.

The register was set up on behalf of businesses and other stakeholders engaged in the collection and recycling of mattresses in the UK, and is the brainchild of a steering group comprising trade associations the Textile Recycling Association (TRA) and the National Bed Federation (NBF), plus a number of mattress recyclers, manufacturers, retailers, waste management firms and local authority representatives.

Steering group members North West-based The Furniture Recycling Group, Midlands-based Circom and Kent-based SSSI (aka Matt UK) all have sites which have passed the audits required to be accepted as RAMR-approved mattress recycling plants.

Alan Wheeler, CEO of the TRA, says: “Unfortunately, recycling can attract traders who do not uphold the rules and regulations established to protect business, customers and workers. When a group of mattress recyclers approached us to collaborate on working out a way of tackling this problem and giving them the ability to prove their professional credentials, the idea of RAMR evolved.”

A rigorous auditing process sits behind membership of RAMR, and is aimed at pointing those looking for reputable mattress recyclers in the right direction. All the sites listed as 'RAMR approved' have been vetted and audited in person by an independent, accredited firm of auditors against a stringent set of criteria to ensure they are trading legally, complying with all relevant regulations and standards and recycling responsibly.

Jessica Alexander, outgoing executive director of the NBF, comments: “Diverting discarded mattresses from the waste disposal stream is widely accepted as both desirable and necessary. According to our research, over 1.5 million mattresses – around 24% of the total disposed of annually - are already being diverted from landfill. We need assurance that this recycling is being done responsibly, and we needed a mechanism to support responsible recyclers in future, as the scale of mattress recycling is set to increase substantially in future against a backdrop of potential Government regulation. The aim of RAMR is to help local authorities, public bodies and businesses wishing to dispose of used mattresses to identify responsible, reputable operators they can work with.”

A new company limited by guarantee, the Mattress Recycling Association Ltd, has been set up to administer RAMR. In the early stages, this service is being provided by the NBF and the TRA – but as the membership grows, it is anticipated that the membership will be sufficient to support itself.

Nick Oettinger, MD of The Furniture Recycling Group, adds: “We’re thrilled to be a part of an initiative that sets a high standard for mattress recycling. As a circular economy business, we understand the importance of responsible and ethical recycling practices, and RAMR will not only provide reassurance to consumers and businesses but also help to create a level playing field for recyclers in the industry. We look forward to seeing it grow and making a significant contribution to reducing waste and landfill in the UK.”

Established and new mattress recyclers from the whole of the UK, Republic of Ireland, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are eligible to apply to join the register.

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