A new program in Port Alberni will allow residents to recycle their old and unused mattresses, while also providing work experience in the community.
Recycle Matters is a job creation partnership through INEO Employment Services, which combines skill development and employment experience with a mattress recycling service. Between 90-95 percent of the mattress materials are recycled, freeing up “valuable space” in the Alberni Valley Landfill, says INEO owner and operator Terry Deakin.
Deakin said the idea for Recycle Matters came about when she started thinking about social enterprise ideas, where INEO could employ and train people who need the extra help and support.
“Mattress recycling came up, and I thought there’s nothing north of Victoria to do mattress recycling,” she said.
Deakin talked to both the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District and the landfill, then wrote a proposal for a job creation partnership through the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, and got some funding to try a pilot project.
The pilot project started in February of this year, and began with renovations of the INEO offices on Second Avenue to set up a mattress recycling facility. The facility started receiving its first mattresses in April.