H&S completes set-up of a recycling plant for end-of-life mattresses

Together with the Dutch recycling company RetourMatras, H&S has implemented a plant for the chemical recycling of discarded PU mattresses, enabling the recovery of high-quality recycled polyols.
Copyright: H&S

H&S Anlagentechnik GmbH has successfully completed commissioning of an industrial-scale reactor plant for RetourMatras, a Dutch recycling company specialized in dismantling of mattresses and their transformation into circular resources. The newly installed recycling plant uses an advanced depolymerization recycling technology to produce high-quality recycled polyol (Repolyol) from polyurethane foam (PU) from end-of-life mattresses.

Polyol is one of the key building blocks of polyurethane foam, the main cushioning material in mattresses. Its recovery without compromising on its quality enables its reuse as a circular raw material for the production of new PU foam and thus for new mattresses and other upholstered furniture — a significant step to circularity. “The H&S process allows us to chemically recycle different foam from various mattress manufacturers, supporting our ambition to secure that no mattress goes to waste by transforming it into circular resources,” emphasizes Chico van Hemert, Managing Director at RetourMatras. Commissioning took place in May 2023 in Lelystad (NL)allowing the newly built recycling plant to convert PU foam from 200,000 mattresses into repolyols annually using the cutting-edge recycling technology of H&S.

Recently, RetourMatras also partnered with IKEA Retail to find a circular solution for the end-of-life of their mattresses in line with IKEA’s approach to products made from recycled or renewable materials.

In Europe, an estimated 40 million mattresses are disposed of every year. Compared to incineration, the recycling of discarded mattresses can help to recover materials for reuse and thus keep them in the loop. To counter the amount of waste and significantly reduce landfill and incineration streams, the European Union is aiming to recycle 65% of municipal waste by 2030. “By converting PU waste from end-of-life mattresses into high-quality recovered polyols suitable for use in new PU products, our innovative recycling technology can make a valuable contribution to achieving this ambitious goal of the EU waste regulation,” explains Mila Skokova, Deputy Managing Director Sales at H&S. “That’s why we are very pleased that more and more companies are interested in the recovery of polyols and therefore are looking for sustainable PU recycling solutions.”


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