Expanded Mattress Recycling Program Benefits Environment, Vets in San José

mattress inlineGoodwill of Silicon Valley (San José) recently announced it will expand its mattress recycling program, thanks to a new partnership between the Goodwill, GreenWaste Recovery and the City of San José. 

Through the city’s large item curbside pickup program, residents can pay $26.65 to have their recycling hauler pick up their mattress at their residence. GreenWaste Recovery, which recycles mattresses and other materials, will direct the approximate 500 mattresses it collects collected monthly in San José to Goodwill of Silicon Valley’s San José facility.

The expansion will add approximately 7,000 mattresses to the 26,000 mattresses that the San José Goodwill already recycles every year. After deconstructing the mattresses by hand, the agency bails and sells the fabric to carpet manufacturers, and sends the metal springs to metal recycling factories. The wood is sold to mattress re-conditioners for use in new mattresses or other products. 

In addition to benefiting the environment, the partnership will allow the Goodwill to create two new full-time positions for chronically unemployed and homeless veterans and employ up to eight  individuals throughout the year on a rotation basis.

 “Each new hire works in the mattress program until they are placed in a more permanent, long-term position,” said Robert Shuck, director of contracts, facilities, and sustainability for Goodwill of Silicon Valley.

Shuck himself is a success story for the program. He started in 2009, earning minimum wage, and moved up within the organization to become a director.

“I always had the drive and determination to work, but being a homeless veteran and previously incarcerated, no one wanted to hire me. I needed someone to give me a chance and Goodwill gave me that chance.”

To learn more about the program please visit this page.