Environmental stewardship in an alley near you: New project creates jobs through salvaging useable materials


White moving vans have been circling the Twin Cities in recent weeks, ducking in to side alleys to collect discarded bed mattresses. It’s estimated that metro residents purchase 350,000 new mattresses each year, discarding the replaced to end up in landfills.

Local governments have teamed up with Project for Pride in Living (PPL) on a major recycling project to salvage materials of value and to boost employment in tough economic times. Since 2009 PPL has recycled approximately 2.5 million tons of mattress material on top of electronics, plastics, and batteries.

PPL works to help ex-prisoners integrate into the Minnesota economy by providing job-training and housing access.