U.K. Prison Mattresses Go From Convicts to Carpets

U.K. Prison Mattresses Go From Convicts to Carpets

A mattress recycling program being tested in the United Kingdom could lead to homes filled with bits of the country's penal system.

The U.K.'s Prison Service dumps 50,000 mattresses a year, and as the prison population increases - there are about 82,000 convicts in England and Wales - the Prison Service buys 60,000 new mattresses a year.

Hoping to find a way to send zero mattresses to landfills, U.K. jails are testing out the recycling possibilities for mattresses. First up are two trials with companies that are turning the mattresses into carpet underlay, fence panels and roof tiles.

Here's hoping that if the program's a success it will also boost recycling mattresses outside of the prison system, or even inspire a prison mattress recycle system here in the U.S. (prison population: 2.2 million). Or at least help expand the few recycling options that exist.

Mattress stack - CC license by Eric__I_E; Prison bed - CC license by IndyDina and Mr. Wonderful