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SBRI - Create Value from Waste Mattress Textiles

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has made significant progress in the area of recycling waste mattresses, using an innovative semi-automated process for deconstruction of the materials into their various fractions.
The separated steel has sustainable markets, but despite ongoing efforts to secure positive value for the separated textile materials, potential textile recycling companies are put off by the levels of contamination that result during use. The council has no option but to send the separated textile for energy recovery (i.e. Incineration or Energy from Waste), a less desirable form of waste management when considering the Waste Hierarchy.
This competition is jointly funded by RCT Council, Welsh Government and Innovate UK. The aim is to develop economically and environmentally sustainable solutions for the treatment and preparation for recycling of textiles and foam materials resulting from the deconstruction of waste mattresses.
The contest is seeking to develop innovative solutions with the potential to be replicated at regional facilities throughout Wales and the UK.
Organisations are invited to compete for a share of a total £350,000 fund for the further development and commercialisation of innovative technologies, processes and business models.
Competition Scope
The overall purpose of this competition is to demonstrate the technical, commercial and environmental viability of creating value from low grade textiles, wadding and foams resulting from the deconstruction of waste mattresses. Successful applicants will provide innovative solutions demonstrating that these materials can be treated (either individually or in combinations) to form a feedstock, safe for use in closed loop recycling applications.
A wide range of technical solutions shall be considered, however project proposals able to demonstrate strong alignment with the following principals will be prioritised by the Project Board:
• shall be capable of recycling at least 75% of the material stream and would not result in landfilling any of the remaining 25%.
• Will make a positive financial contribution to the mattress deconstruction process (i.e. provide a material rebate) of the order of £10 per Tonne.
• will not produce any waste classified as Hazardous under EU/UK Waste Management Regulations.
• shall be able to demonstrate a lower Carbon Footprint than that which could be reasonably estimated for either landfill disposal or EfW recovery.
• can be demonstrated at RCT Council’s Bryn Pica Waste Management Facility.
• has the potential to utilise waste heat in the range 70 – 90 degrees Celsius.
Applicants may wish to refer to BS 1425-1:1991 (Cleanliness of fillings and stuffings for bedding, upholstery and other domestic articles.) as an example of a standard of cleanliness, or may wish to develop and justify their own end use specification.

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