Renewi started a pilot project to recycle mattresses with IKEA in the Netherlands a number of years ago. The Swedish furniture store is the largest mattress producer in the Benelux. Two years ago, the companies joined forces with mattress recycler RetourMatras in a joint venture, creating an annual recycling capacity of 1 million mattresses. Renewi now has three mattress recycling plants in the Netherlands. The company is now looking to Belgium to do the same, confirmed CEO Otto de Bont.
With an estimated 1 to 1.2 million mattresses discarded in Belgium each year, de Bont estimates that the firm can recycle at least two-thirds of them. Currently, most discarded mattresses in Belgium are burned. The hope is to create a circular mattress and make new ones out of the old ones.