The Columbia Shuswap Regional District approved a plan for the recycling of car seats and mattresses, which will cut down on the distance they have to be shipped from the Shuswap.
The plan will see the Shuswap area’s mattresses recycled in Lumby, but the CSRD will maintain relations with larger recyclers if they are needed.
CSRD community services team leader Ben Van Nostrand said the regional district began accepting mattresses for recycling in 2014. Since then, the program has kept more than 35,000 mattresses out of landfills.
At the CSRD board’s March 18 meeting, Van Nostrand described the way the mattress recycling program has evolved. The service was provided by a small firm in Enderby to begin with. Finding the initial process inefficient, the regional district began working with large recyclers (Pacific Mattress Recycling) based in Hope and Calgary, but they were seeking a way to keep the mattresses local if possible.
The CSRD was approached in 2019 by Lumby-based Shuswap Enviro Services (SES) with a proposal to provide the CSRD with an alternative to its current recycling service. According to Van Nostrand’s report to the board, the CSRD conducted a trial with SES in 2020. Following that and an inspection of its processing facility, he was confident it could provide the necessary service. The report added working with a local company will also save costs and carbon emissions.
Long-term agreements approved by the CSRD board will see the Shuswap’s mattresses and children’s car seats processed in Lumby. Those from the Golden and Revelstoke disposal sites will be going elsewhere. Mattresses and car seats dropped off in Golden will be handled by ReMatt Recycling Inc. in Calgary, and those from Revelstoke will be trucked to Pacific Mattress Recycling Inc. in Hope.
Van Nostrand said spreading the work out over three recyclers will ensure mattresses and car seats do not build up at CSRD facilities.
Electoral Area D director Rene Talbot asked if the recycling program might be expanded to accept other furniture like couches and recliners.
Van Nostrand said accepting new materials in the program could be investigated in the future.
Van Nostrand’s report breaks down the recycling costs for the CSRD which are over $20 per mattress, even at the local recycler. The report anticipates the provincial government will look to adopt a provincewide stewardship model in the future which would make the manufacturers of mattresses and car seats responsible for the end-of-life recycling costs.