Health Department receives mattress recycling grant

WESTFIELD- The Health Department received a grant this month to purchase more equipment for mattress recycling at the Twiss Transfer Station.

The $64,000 grant will allow the department to purchase a container to store mattresses inside so that a contracted company can come and haul them away. Public Health Director Joseph Rouse said that the grant will allow the city to save money in the long run.

“It’s going to be a huge savings on our trash. We currently get charged $15 per mattress by our disposal company while we charge our residents just $10 per mattress,” said Rouse.

He added that the cost of moving a mattress to be recycled increases with the actual weight of the bedding, sometimes making the cost to the city closer to $20 each. If one is picked up curbside after it may have rained or snowed, the mattress can become heavier with water weight, and thus more expensive. 

“For two years, it will be free for the city to get rid of the mattresses,” said Rouse. 

The grant, which was given by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), will operate on a reimbursement basis. The city will first pay for the containers to store the mattress and the contract for the company to take them, and the DEP will reimburse the city for the bill up to the cost of $64,000.

Rouse noted that residents will still be charged the normal $10 per mattress with the grant with the permission of the DEP. 

“This allows us to save for the future as the grant expires, or if we do not get another grant,” said Rouse.

The grant was approved by the Board of Health on Dec. 11, but it awaits approval from the City Council.

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