Each year in the UK around 7.5 million mattresses are thrown away, with 75% going straight to landfill, while the remainder are dismantled for parts and recycled or incinerated.
If those mattresses were stacked on top of each other the pile would be 155 times taller than The Shard in London, the UK’s tallest building. What is more, it is estimated that the planet-heating CO2 generated in the production of those mattresses is around 600,000 tonnes*, the equivalent to driving to the Moon and back more than 4,000 times**.
Bulky Bob’s has developed a manual cleaning process using UV light and infra-red heat. Operated by up to six staff, it cleans around 4,000 mattresses each year, which are sold at Bulky Bob’s furniture shop and other distributors or given away as charitable donations.
Over the last three years, Bulky Bob's estimates that it has diverted thousands of mattresses from landfill and into the homes of people who need them.
Shaun said: “We are confident that by combining treatments and technologies we can produce mattresses that are of exceptionally quality. However, it takes a clunky manual process to clean them which means we only do a fraction of what we could. We recognised the need to automate it.”
* Based on an average mattress depth of 10 inches, 7,500,000 mattresses is 48,387 metres high if stacked on top of one another. The Shard in London, the UK’s tallest building, is 309 metres high, so 7,500,000 mattresses is the equivalent height of 156 Shards.
** The overall average impact of the lifecycle of a mattress is 80kg CO2 per mattress according to a study called the 'Furniture Carbon Footprinting' by the Furniture Industry Research Association (FIRA), the UK research association which serves the furniture industry.