ILSR, working under a recycling and economic development grant from US EPA Region 1 and the Office of Mayor Bill Flint of Bridgeport, CT, facilitated the development of a mattress refurbishing and recycling plant that opened for business on June 27.
Twenty workers at Park City Green will process 100,000 mattresses and box springs annually in the facility that is owned by the Greater Bridgeport Community Development Corporation. The goal of the enterprise is to take a nuisance product out of the waste stream; help towns, hospitals, and other entities that handle large quantities of mattresses increase their recycling rate; and create good paying entry-level jobs for chronically unemployed and underemployed workers. This project used the combined resources of Saint Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County, Oregon (with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation), the Bridgeport Regional Development Council, and the City’s Community Development Block Grant funds.
The enterprise is modeled after the SVDP mattress plant in Eugene, OR. SVDP helped develop a similar plant for the Mustard Seed organization in Orlando, FL. ILSR and SVDP are working together in Alachua County, FL, Atlanta and Reading, PA, to replicate mattress and other refurbishing enterprises that both provide good jobs for low income residents and provide low-cost, high-quality products to local markets.
Read more about this innovative enterprise at CTPost.com.