Stroud District Council operate a free bulky collection service for household items like beds, chairs etc (01453 754424) and when ordering a new mattress many companies will take away your old one - however I would love to see these items being recycled - nationally, according to the National Audit Office, there are enough of them each year to fill 30 double-decker buses.
Well I understand Lewisham is going to start offering a free mattress collection and recycling service, in partnership with a new company, Matt-UK.
All you have to do is get a sticker (see above) from the local library, put it on the mattress and leave it out on the evening before your normal waste day and it will be taken away. They estimate that they will be able to recycle about 97% of the materials and sell them on to be made into new products, while also avoiding waste going to landfill. I understand that two companies are conducting trials to convert old mattresses into carpet underlay, roof tiles and fence panels.
Is this something worth exploring for Gloucestershire? Well I did speak with Officers at the District Council but they are "not aware of any facilities close enough to be of use" - they will keep an eye out.
This to me seems just the sort of project we should be encouraging - across the country, prisons alone throw some 50,000 away every year and it was good to hear that last year a project was launched to try and recycle those - see The Guardian report here. Let's hope this all becomes the norm in the very near future.