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£227,500 funding to support mattress recycling in Rhondda Cynon Taf and a call on local businesses to come up with innovative new solutions to allow every part of the mattress to be recycled.

First published:
14 November 2016
Last updated:

This was published under the 2016 to 2021 administration of the Welsh Government

The Welsh Government and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have joined forces to offer a £350,000 prize to the business that comes up with the winning solution. The funding will be used to support the further development and commercialisation of innovative technologies, processes and business models to take the idea forward. 

Rhondda Cynon Taf already owns one of only a few machines available in the world that can completely break down a mattress ready for recycling. The machine has the potential to recycle a staggering 100,000 mattresses per year – that’s nearly one mattress from every household in Rhondda Cynon Taf.  

The Welsh Government is supporting the council’s mattress recycling scheme, with £227,500 funding to develop plans to use waste heat from an existing Food Waste Treatment Plant to heat water to sterilise the mattress textiles for recycling. This pilot scheme, run through the Small Business Research Initiative, aims to determine the economic benefits of achieving this on a large scale. 

The project has the potential to create local jobs, increase recycling, reduce carbon emissions and create economic savings for the local authority.

Lesley Griffiths said:

“I am pleased we are supporting this innovative recycling project and competition. If successful, the project will see an increase in market demand for waste mattress textiles, a market which is severely underdeveloped in Wales and the UK. 

“Wales is leading the way with recycling in the UK and is well on course to meet its 70% recycling rate by 2025. However, we can always do more and it is through thinking creatively and devising sustainable solutions that we can become the highest recycling nation in Europe.”

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure & Culture, said:

“We continually strive to recycle more waste in Rhondda Cynon Taf and reduce the amount being sent to landfill. Our mattress recycling service has proved to a great success, since its launch four years ago, however this competition will mark an important step forward for the scheme and build on the core of our values in Rhondda Cynon Taf to recycle as much as we possibly can.

“Back in 2015 Rhondda Cynon Taf Council was crowned the fastest improving Council in Wales for its recycling efforts by the Welsh Government when it hit over 60% for recycling targets and secured its place in the top 10 for Wales. In 2016 we have once again secured our place in the top 10 by hitting over 61%. This is something that all residents can all be proud of – but we can still do more.

“This latest development showcases how we as a Council are looking at how we can recycle as much as we possibly can and we are encouraging our residents to join us by recycling just one extra item each – together we can hit the 70% target set for 2025.”  

To apply for the competition businesses must register with Sell2Wales (external link) .

Please download all of the supporting information, including the Guidance for Applicants and the application form and email completed application forms to
A briefing event will be held on Friday 2nd December 2016 at the Cardiff Marriott Hotel. To register or for further information about the competition contact the project team on the e-mail provided.

The competition opened on Wednesday 9th November 2016 and closes at noon on Monday 13th January 2017. Shortlisted Organisations will be invited for interview between 15th and 16th February 2017.