Old mattreses used to make firestarters, race bales

SGT’S Recycling creates four products from recycled material:  gun rests, fencing, race bales, and its newest product, fire starter bundles.

When mattresses are donated, ones that are in good shape go to SGT’S Recycling resale store.  Ones that aren’t are taken apart and used to make firestarters and race bales.

SGT’S Recycling recently teamed up with Lake Superior State University to create and market firestarters.

“We enhance the product to Lake State to sell their firestarters,” SGT’S Recycling President Jim Smith said.  “And that’s where we’ve bundled our bundles with their firestarters so we can market them together.  This bundle you can take anywhere, it’s not affected by the ash burned bug.  The wood is old and it’s been dried forever.

“The wood bundles that we make are all cut from the bottom of the box springs, so it’s all wood that’s been drying for the last thirty years in your house, and we bundle it up and use it for fuel.”

Forty mattresses are used to make the race bales, and they each weigh 700 pounds.  When race cars run off the track, they run into the softer, safer bales instead of cement blocks.

“What we do is cut the tops off and we roll up the fabric, and it goes down into pulling out the metal and taking the fabric off of there,” Smith said.

“There’s a difference between the box spring and mattress–the box spring is where we get our wood for the firestarters.  It’s the same process, but at the end we’re working with wood from the box spring.”

“If (the mattress) has a high-density foam or  soft foam, it becomes the makeup of the bale.  So say someone wants a really soft bale, then we would put no so much fabric and more foam.  It’s all in the makeup of the bale, so that’s where the (make-up) is separated.”

SGT’S Recycling encourages people to come to their building for tours to see how their products are made.

“We just invite people to come in, and really, take a tour and learn more about the recycling so then we can help keep our vets employed and get more guys jobs,” Smith said.

For more information on what items SGT’S Recycling accepts, you can visit its website.