Marine mattresses going green

Demetrio Espinosa
Demetrio Espinosa
Jim Riggs
Jim Riggs

By Tracy Gladden - bio | email

HONOLULU (KHNL) - Troops at the Kaneohe Marine Corps base are stepping up their effort to help preserve the environment, one bed at a time.

Old mattresses find new life at the Green Bed Factory. This month, Kaneohe Marines have hired the company to recycle 700 mattresses and reduce the burden on Oahu's overflowing landfill.

"Each mattress will take up ten cubic feet of space, you times that by a couple thousand, you've got the size of your house in the landfill," factory manager Jim Riggs said.

"They break them down, strip them, they recycle the metal frames and then they send the padding materials over to h-power and actually burn them to create energy. Normally what we were doing was taking these to the landfill when we were done with them, we are replacing about 800 a year," Marine Demetrio Espinosa said.

The company is rebuilding 500 mattresses for the Army.

"Not all beds need to go to the landfill, a lot of them can be rebuilt, a lot of them can be recycled and that's what we do. You just don't like it because it's got a stain on it, have it rebuilt," Riggs said.

He says the company can strip your bed and put it back together for a third of the price of a new one.

"We love being able to do our part to help the community and really to make the island a lot greener," Espinosa said.

The Marines hope that the hotel industry will follow its environmental example and have decided to make recycling their used mattresses and annual program.