Student-Run Mattress Recycling Program in Int'l CompetitionSeptember 28, 2012
A team of students from Belmont University will enter their mattress recycling program in an international competion.
The students will represent the United States in the upcoming SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise) World Cup, an international competition featuring students who have created businesses in their communities that allow them to acquire skills to become socially responsible leaders. At the World Cup, to be held in Sept. 30-Oct. 2 in Washington, D.C., national champion teams from the United States and 38 other countries will compete for the title.
International Sleep Products Association President Ryan Trainer commended the Belmont team for its participation.
“On behalf of the mattress industry, I applaud the Belmont University students for winning the U.S. SIFE competition and now representing the United States at the SIFE World Cup. We wish them the very best,” Trainer said. “These students have created a sustainable, effective, and market-based business model for recycling used mattresses that ISPA whole heartedly supports. We firmly believe a national mattress recycling program that encourages the growth of businesses like Spring Back will benefit from important economies of scale, as opposed to the inefficiencies and added costs that piecemeal, state-based legislation would create.”
The Belmont University team won the U.S. SIFE competition earlier this year with the innovative Spring Back Recycling program that the students developed to recycle used mattresses. Spring Back is both helping the environment and creating jobs. Through the program, previously incarcerated workers are taught the skills they need to gain employment at Spring Back’s recycling facility, where mattresses are dismantled and their component materials are recycled for use in new products.
With millions of mattresses sent to landfills each year, where they take up large amounts of space, the need for mattress recycling is great.
“When the Belmont students began to plan their program, the mattress industry was pleased to help out with information about the industry, other recyclers and possible markets for the used steel, foam and other recycled materials," Trainer said. "But it was the students’ commitment, initiative and creativity that has made Spring Back a success, both as a business and in the SIFE competition.”