News / Winnipeg

Indigenous North End business to create jobs recycling mattresses

IKEA, Mother Earth Recycling, Province partner up to open Manitoba’s first mattress recycling depot

Minister Kevin Chief speaks at Mother Earth Recycling Sunday along with numerous workers.

Elisha Dacey/Metro

Minister Kevin Chief speaks at Mother Earth Recycling Sunday along with numerous workers.

There will be no sleeping on this job.

Mother Earth Recycling announced Sunday a partnership with the province, Take Pride Winnipeg and furniture retailer IKEA to open Manitoba’s first mattress recycling depot.

Manitobans who purchase a new mattress through IKEA can have their old mattress taken away and recycled at Mother Earth Recycling for $10.

The partnership will create several jobs and training for North End indigenous workers in the area, many of whom have no job training or need a second chance, said Mother Earth Recycling management consultant Jessica Floresco.

“We want to do six month cycles. We’ll take in four to six people at a time, train them in the process of (recycling) a mattress… and train them in basic job skills. At the end of the six months, we’ll help them do a resume and help them learn to look for jobs and apply for jobs and help them get a better job.”

Mother Earth Recycling will break down the mattresses into four basic recyclables, said Floresco – wood, steel, fabric and foam. While partnerships for each of those recyclables have yet to be finalized, that will happen in the coming weeks, said Floresco,

“Over 90 per cent of the mattress is recyclable,” she added, saying it’s the hard plastic corners and rope handles that aren’t – yet.

While people can’t yet drop off their unwanted mattresses at the depot, that’s the plan for coming months.

“Right now, when IKEA or any company goes out to pick up a mattress, they’ll only take it (for recycling) if they do a visual inspection deem that it is safe and clean to take out. That takes away some of the worry about bugs and things like that.

“We’re worried that if the general public starts dropping off (mattresses) there’s not that safety concern for them.”

Floresco said Mother Earth plans to eventually build a decontamination unit outside where mattresses can be heat treated.