A new deal to recycle more mattresses, carpets and furniture and save them from the nightmare of landfill has been secured by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and social enterprise recycler Usel.
The agreement will see Belfast-based Usel (Ulster Supported Employment Ltd) work with NIEA to expand their recycling facilities and help protect and enhance our local environment.
David Small, Head of NIEA said the Prosperity Agreement with Usel would mean an increase in the amount of material they recycle.
“This agreement is great news for both the environment and the local economy. Usel plans to work with the Housing Associations and recycle their carpets, diverting nearly 7,000 tonnes of waste carpets from landfill – enough carpet to cover up to 750 football pitches.
“The materials from the carpets are then turned into a product which is in demand within the Equine industry, thereby helping to drive the circular economy,” he explained.
Bill Atkinson, Usel CEO said he was delighted to be signing the agreement. “We are Northern Ireland’s only mattress recycling provider diverting over 400 tonnes of waste from landfill every year. Every mattress we collect is recycled. The recycled material is used in a number ways, for example to make carpet and acoustic dampening for the car industry. We recycle 96% of each mattress with the remaining 4% sent to energy from waste.
“We have ambitious environmental and circular economy targets and this new Prosperity Agreement with NIEA will help us deliver them. We believe this is a further step in us leading the way in promoting environmentally responsible business growth whilst also providing employment and training opportunities for individuals with disabilities and/or health related conditions,” he added.
This is the seventh Prosperity Agreement NIEA has now signed, and the first with a social enterprise.
NIEA’s David Small said: “Each agreement embodies a commitment to a sustainable future for the both the business and our environment. We want to work with progressive organisations like Usel who are committed to local communities and to creating prosperity and well-being in practical and sustainable ways.”