25% increase of residents using mattress amnesty free disposal

By Aideen O'Flaherty

THIS year’s mattress amnesty, which saw South Dublin County Council provide free mattress disposal for householders at numerous locations around the county, had a 25 per cent increase in people availing of the service compared to 2019.

The mattress amnesty was held over a four-week period, starting on October 19, and it allowed unwanted mattresses from residents of South Dublin County to be disposed of safely and free of charge.

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There was a 25% increase in the mattress amnesty

According to the council, the timing of the 2020 amnesty was aimed at reducing the number of mattresses that are illegally disposed of through burning at Halloween bonfires, or by being dumped illegally in the countryside.

As a result of the pandemic, operational changes were made to the amnesty, including the implementation of social distancing measures.

The council teamed up with Clondalkin Community Recycle Initiative (RecycleIT), a social enterprise, based in Crag Avenue, Clondalkin, which provides employment and training opportunities through the provision of neighbourhood, community and business WEEE collection services, for the amnesty.

South Dublin Council stated that the amnesty was a pilot project, adding: “The pilot project provided multiple opportunities for members of the public to dispose of their mattress at localised community collection points as well as the RecycleIT Facility in Crag Avenue.

“Collection days were organised with the assistance of resident associations, staff in community centres and other local community groups.

“By having multiple opportunities for disposal of mattresses, we were able to provide drop off opportunities to each resident of South Dublin within a distance of 5km of their front door, whilst regulating the attendance to ensure all social distancing measures were adhered to.

“All of the mattresses collected at the various drop off points were transported by RecycleIT to EcoMattress, another social enterprise, based in Fingal, specialising [in] mattresses recycling.”

A total of 1,065 mattresses were recovered as part of the 2020 amnesty, marking a 25 per cent increase on the previous year’s amnesty.

The total cost of the 2020 mattress amnesty was €30,400 and, according to the council, the cost of disposal per item has reduced by 15 per cent compared to 2019 figures.

“Feedback from all parties involved has been very positive.

“South Dublin County Council Waste Enforcement Section is looking at other opportunities to work with RecycleIT and other Social Enterprises in providing other recycling opportunities in the community,” the local authority concluded.

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