Six members of Enactus recycled 36 mattresses on May 29.
How do you recycle a mattress? It’s a tricky process because the foam and steel springs can be recycled – but only if they’re separated. Neumann had been storing used mattresses, with rips and tears that rendered them unfit, in a cargo container on campus.
Enter Enactus, a campus club that is part of an international organization in which students use their entrepreneur skills and "outside the box" thinking to come up with long-term solutions to problems. Danielle Donahue, co-president of the club, has been working closely with Rick Kern, an associate VP at the university, to help make Neumann a "greener" place to live and work. Kern brought to her attention the mattress storing problem.
To avoid adding these mattresses unnecessarily to landfill waste, six members of Enactus and Kern devoted the day of May 29 to recycle 36 stored mattresses. The students ripped open each mattress, recycled the foam and steel springs, and trashed the rest. They recycled 720 pounds of steel at a scrap metal yard in Marcus Hook and brought a shuttle bus filled with foam to a recycling center in Folcroft.
The Enactus members who participated are Danielle Donahue, Andrea Luz Dela Cruz, Rena-Rose Jallah, Welyne Jargbah, Jen Wilson, and Andrea Moyano. Rick Kern also pitched in, tearing apart some of the mattresses and transporting the recycled material.
“We are happy to be a part of helping to save Neumann money on the rental of the cargo container,” said Donahue. “But really, we are most proud and happy that we have empowered and encouraged Neumann and the surrounding community to look at our trash from a different perspective. Almost everything can be recycled or reused in some way.”
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