iMS recycles more than 1 million pounds in used mattresses

Stacks of mattresses for recyclingMattress retailers Mattress Warehouse, Sleep Outfitters and Mattress King—all part of Winfield, West Virginia-based Innovative Mattress Solutions—have recycled more than one million pounds of mattress material so far this year.

According to Spring Back Mattress Recycling in Nashville, Tenn., iMS’s partner in the mattress recycling process, iMS stores had shipped Spring Back 14,590 used mattresses and box springs as of November 1, equaling 1,099,649 pounds of recycled mattress material so far this year.

“It’s exciting to know that we’re leading the mattress industry nationwide with our mattress recycling efforts,” said Innovative Mattress Solutions president and CEO Kim Knopf.

iMS sends about 400 mattresses a week to Spring Back where they are torn apart so the mattress components can be used for other purposes. Stores charge a $19.99 recycling fee to haul away customers’ old mattresses. In a matter of minutes, the Spring Back crew can deconstruct a mattress that can take years to decompose in a landfill.

“We’re trying to do our part to be an eco-friendly company and keep discarded mattresses out of our communities’ landfills,” said Knopf.

Spring Back began in Nashville in March 2011, the idea of a group of Belmont University students. The company employs formerly incarcerated men in an effort to help them lead productive lives.

“More than 98 percent of all mattress and box spring components are recycled, while the program pays for itself,” said Dr. John Gonas, the Belmont professor who serves as an Enactus faculty advisor. “We are very grateful for the partnership with Mattress Warehouse, Sleep Outfitters and Mattress King.”

Innovative Mattress Solutions began the Spring Back Mattress Recycling partnership about two years ago when the company acquired the Nashville-based Mattresses Unlimited retail chain. Last year, those stores were renamed Sleep Outfitters. Since then, recycling has been expanded to the company’s stores in Lexington, Ky., Cincinnati, Columbus and Dayton, Oh. and Huntsville and Birmingham, Ala.