Furniture Recycling Group partners with John Lewis to repurpose mattresses

The Furniture Recycling Group (TFRG), a Blackburn-based mattress-recycling firm, has joined forces with retail giant John Lewis to put a stop to customer waste being sent to landfill.

Approximately 167,000 tonnes of mattresses are sent to landfill each year in the UK, despite the ever-increasing landfill tax. This highlights an urgent need for more industries including manufacturing and retail to make changes to the way end user waste is dealt with.

Mattresses are an important part of John Lewis’ home product offering. Providing the mattress recycling service helps to support its customers to responsibly dispose of their mattresses, and is a valuable add-on service. John Lewis is collaborating with TFRG with the recycling of this bulky and difficult waste stream.

As a direct result of the partnership, John Lewis was able to collect and recycle approximately 58,000 mattresses in 2016 alone, diverting around 1,500 tonnes of waste from landfill.

With the added support of TFRG, John Lewis is continuing to offer its customers the option to include a mattress disposal and recycling service whenever they order a new mattress for delivery. As part of the service, John Lewis picks up customers’ old mattresses and takes them to one of its many distribution hubs. From there, the mattresses are sent to TFRG to be broken down into their components using the company’s innovative new mattress recycling machine. The components are then repurposed and reused by TFRG to manufacture new, superior quality mattresses, creating a circular economy.

Ben Thomas, sustainability manager at John Lewis, says: “For our mattress recycling service, we knew we needed to find a partner who would be trustworthy and had a plan for the future. After conducting thorough research into the industry it became clear that Nick Oettinger at The Furniture Recycling Group was the person we wanted to work with." Nick Oettinger, managing director at TFRG, says: “We’re very proud that John Lewis chose to work with us on this project, and it’s so reassuring to see retailers are now thinking about the end of life scenario for their products. Since launch we have diverted over 1 million mattresses and 3,500 tons of mattress components from landfill, and with John Lewis on board we can look to see these promising figures growing more and more.”