SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — At the Victory Mission warehouse, there’s plenty to sort through.
In a new effort to help those in need through their program, the group is recycling mattresses.
Just, not in the way you’d think.
“Barbara Lucks, she used to work at the city, doing all the recycling at the city. She’s a super recycling advocate in our community,” Executive Director Jason Hynson with Victory Mission explains. “She just approached me at our Rotary Club and said, ‘Would you be interested in taking on this mattress [contract] rather than the company that’s doing it?”
Workers will take mattresses dropped off at Springfield City Recycling Centers, and de-construct them, separating the valuable material that can be recycled for cash.
“We’re taking the box off of the box springs, we’re cutting the fabric off, and we’re taking the metal springs and we’re putting those in the metal pile, and they go to the metal recyclers,” Hynson said. “We take the foam and we put the foam to a foam buyer and a foam pile.”
With mattresses stacking up, workers like Chase McWilliams felt the opportunity couldn’t be slept on.
“We used to go out and get maybe seven mattresses done in a couple of days and now we’re knocking them out, so it’s just been exciting just to be a part of that,” McWilliams said.
Workers like McWilliams will earn money while trying to get back on their feet.
“What we’re able to do is some of the mattresses are being recycled by people who are on a plan and a process to walk out a whole new life,” Hynson said.
McWilliams says the program is an important step to putting his life back together.
“I’ve been in and out of jails and prisons just off and on for the last seven or eight years,” McWilliams said. “I’ve been homeless before as well living on the streets and in my car. I’m in school currently and it’s been a blessing. They work with me as far as going to school and holding this job down.”
Victory Mission says the mattresses are picked up at recycling centers, not dropped off at their doors, and asks that people wanting to donate mattresses take them to Springfield City Recycling Centers.