Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): India's first mattress recycling campaign was launched in state capital city on Saturday. The campaign involves recycling the mattresses and simultaneously raising awareness about the need to dispose of old mattresses in a manner that they can be recycled.
Bhopal municipal commissioner KVS Choudhary launched the project on Saturday. Bhopal Municipal Corporation also extended the support to campaign by offering mattress and pillows collected by their staffers for recycling.
The campaign has been launched under the aegis of Indian Polyurethane Association, Indian Sleep Products Federation (ISPF) and The Kabadiwala. The Kabadiwala will collect the old mattresses from the people and segregate the materials after disinfecting them.
The segregated materials will then be sent to the respective recycling companies. The secretary of ISPF, Srinivasan Sundereshan, told Free Press that the life of a mattress is about 10 years. After that, they need to be disposed of, he said.
People usually burn them or throw them away causing pollution, he added.
He said all the companies and brands combined at least 25,000 mattresses (300 tonnes) that were sold in city in 2010 and it was high time they were discarded.
They formulated a work plan to collect used mattresses and give them vouchers of Rs 600 or Rs 1,200. The vouchers will be used at 20 stores they have collaborated with and will have a validity of six months.
The consumers can place a call on the circulated number and a pickup service will come to collect the mattress from their house. Srinivasan said they not only wanted to raise awareness about proper disposal of the mattresses but also about sleep hygiene.
Using the same mattress for a long time leads to several diseases so they need to be changed in 6-7 years, he said. He said the organisation has established recycling centres in Bhopal where they will reprocess the mattresses and donate them to old-age homes, orphanages or military troops at high altitude.
He said at least 3,000 people will be employed under the pilot project. Srinivasan said he established connection with brands and 20 dealers for the pilot project in Bhopal that will provide assistance in running the voucher scheme.
The waste management and recycling projects are active in Bhopal, making it a green city, he said. The positive approach from Bhopal Municipal Corporation has made them optimistic about the success of the pilot project, said Srinivasan. The project will be expanded to Hyderabad in collaboration with Ikea, he added.
The Kabadiwala founder Anurag Asit, said they have been collecting e-waste and plastic waste for recycling. Now, they have an added venture they are hopeful about. He has urged people to either call them for home collection service or to hand-deliver at the identified stores.