MattressRecycling.ca gives mattress materials a second life

Mattress Recycling

About this story

  • Organization
    MattressRecycling.ca
  • Region
    Metro Vancouver, BC
  • Area of impact
    Environment
  • Type of investment
    Operating line of credit; working capital and term loan
Vancity is a great institution—very community oriented, which I am too. Fabio Scaldaferri, owner of MattressRecycling.ca

When MattressRecycling.ca owner Fabio Scaldaferri first opened up shop in 2008, his fledgling mattress recycling operation was the first of its kind in Metro Vancouver. Fabio’s company is now hailed as an international leader in the field, with like-minded entrepreneurs from as far away as Australia journeying to Vancouver to learn from its success. Growing a business this quickly brings its own challenges, and when Fabio required help taking MattressRecycling.ca to the next level, he turned to Vancity for financial and strategic support.

As a business built on so many things Vancity strives to support—environmental consciousness, a strong community focus and sustainable business practices—MattressRecycling.ca is an ideal business member for Vancity. In addition to providing a line of credit to improve the company’s cash flow, Vancity also stepped up with a working capital and term loan to bolster capacity and efficiency.

This partnership has paid dividends in terms of environmental impact. “From what we gather, we have the highest volume of any mattress recycling location in the world,” says Fabio. “Now we have delegations from all over the world coming to Metro Vancouver to see how it's working. We're positioned as a world leader in this type of recycling.”

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Before MattressRecycling.ca arrived on the scene, discarded mattresses in Metro Vancouver all ended up in the landfill. That added as much as 625,000 cubic feet of landfill space per year, despite the fact that at least 90 percent of the mattresses could be repurposed. Determined to end the practice entirely, Fabio joined with others in lobbying Metro Vancouver to ban mattresses from local landfills, which it did in January, 2011—a world first. The impact has been immense.

“We went from recycling 2,000 or 3,000 mattresses a year to recycling 65,000 that first year. It was a huge, huge jump. This year we're looking at 84,000 mattresses being recycled, an average of 240 a day, every single day.”

Another point of pride for Fabio and his team is that materials extracted at the depot are almost entirely recycled through local organizations. Metal goes to scrapping yards, wood is shredded and turned into mulch or fuel, foam becomes carpet underlay, plastics become bottles or fleeces, and cotton goes back into upholstery.

“Our principle within the company is that we try to keep everything local instead of shipping it all overseas,” says Fabio. “The only thing that gets shipped out of province is the foam. Everything else stays within Metro Vancouver, which we're really proud about.”

“I knew that by partnering with this member and this business that Vancity could help to improve the local environment,” says Mike Harris, Vancity small-business specialist. “It’s going to make a huge impact locally.”

“Vancity is a great institution—very community oriented, which I am too,” says Fabio. “They are just totally aligned with my values. They saw an idea that would build the local green economy and got right behind it. I’m very happy to have such a supportive financial partner.”

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