TWENTY-five new jobs have been created in Bolton with the opening of a new waste plant to recycle up to a quarter of a million mattresses thrown away in Greater Manchester every year.

The mattresses will be recycled into products ranging from pet bedding, mattress filling to stab-proof vests.

The facility is operated by the The Furniture Recycling Group (TFR) at the Salford Road plant in Over Hulton.

Workers will manually extract up to 19 different materials used in the manufacture of mattresses, including steel, latex, foam, polyester, denim, cotton, and even horsehair and coconut fibres.

These materials will then be sorted, sanitised and checked for quality, before being transported to a range of re-processing facilities to be used in the manufacture of new products. Each trained operative can process more than 65 mattresses per day, and depending on the condition of the mattresses, up to 85 pere cent of the material can be recycled.

Some fibres are even mixed with Kevlar to make stab-proof vests.

The raw materials will be transported to manufacturers, mostly within 40 miles of the plant.

New mattress recycling containers have been installed across Greater Manchester’s recycling centre network to take unwanted mattresses destined for the new plant in Bolton.

Anna Bell, Contract Director for SUEZ, which operates tips throughout Greater Manchester, said: “The number of mattresses being thrown away is increasing across the UK and is now estimated at 8.5 million a year nationally. Through our partnership with TFR Group we will recycle over 1.5 million mattresses in Greater Manchester over the course of our contract with GMCA, making a significant contribution to our collective efforts to increase recycling rates. SUEZ has been working with TFR Group for over two years to develop the most effective solution to meet Greater Manchester’s mattress recycling needs, and we’re delighted to see the fruits of that collaboration in this new service and facility.”

Nick Oettinger, Managing Director at TFR Group said: “It’s great to be part of this collaboration between GMCA, SUEZ and TFR Group, offering long-term and large-scale mattress recycling to residents across Greater Manchester for the first time, not to mention the added benefit of creating 20 new sustainable jobs during a challenging economic time. Mattresses are a notoriously difficult waste stream to recycle, and so we’re really pleased to operate our new processing facility in Greater Manchester and return tonnes of pristine recycled materials back into the economy.”

Residents are being urged to keep mattresses as clean and dry as possible when they are ready to be thrown away. If a mattress becomes wet and dirty – if temporarily left outside for example – it can significantly reduce the amount of the material that can be extracted and recycled.