Mass. Nonprofit Recycles Over 34,700 Mattresses In One Year

Photo: Courtesy of UTEC

LOWELL, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — The local nonprofit UTEC, a young adult violence intervention organization, has been able to dispose of and recycle thousands of mattresses in almost 40 cities and towns across Massachusetts over the past year.

"With this program, not only are residents able to access a service that benefits the environment, we are providing local young adults with valuable workforce development skills," said Gregg Croteau, president and CEO of UTEC, in a press release on Thursday.

UTEC helps justice-involved young people gain the skills to maintain stable employment and avoid further criminal activity, and through one of its social enterprise programs, it is one of three organizations approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection to be a mattress recycler.

It's the largest mattress recycler in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire.

The Commonwealth banned the disposal of mattresses in the trash in 2022, and since then, UTEC said its mattress recycling program has more than doubled.

The nonprofit shared the news about how many mattresses they recycled over the past year in honor of Earth Week.

Photo: Courtesy of UTEC

UTEC workers break down the mattresses by hand to extract recyclable material. The nonprofit said that 85% of each mattress is recycled on average.

“The program enables justice-involved youth to gain hands-on industrial and warehousing experience in a safe, structured workplace while gaining an understanding of the environmental impact they are delivering through their work,” said Croteau. 

“For many of these young adults, our social enterprises are their first opportunity to gain work and life skills in a safe space, and we’ve seen firsthand how impactful that can be for our young people and our communities.”

The nonprofit explained that social enterprise businesses help young people get "a clean slate" to gain work experience and develop their job and life skills.

Photo: Courtesy of UTEC

Besides the mattress recycling program, UTEC also runs two other social enterprise businesses: Madd Love Market’s Woodworking and Madd Love Meals. 

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