Every year, tens of millions of mattresses are hauled to the dump or dragged to the curb to make way for new beds. Waste facility and landfill operators hate them because of their size, bulk and resistance to compression. The vast majority of those millions of trashed mattresses end up choking landfills, locking away the valuable resources found in even the grimmest used mattress. Where most of us might see a problem, some resourceful people at Belmont University saw an opportunity and started Spring Back Recycling with the dual goal of diverting valuable resources from the landfill while providing jobs for previously incarcerated people.

Spring Back Recycling, a registered nonprofit, is currently being run by the Belmont Church and students from Belmont's Students in Free Enterprise. You can read more about the group over at NPR, which recently did a story about the operation.

Here's a quick video:

Shea Gunther is a podcaster, writer, and entrepreneur living in Portland, Maine. He hosts the popular podcast "Marijuana Today Daily" and was a founder of Renewable Choice Energy, the country's leading provider of wind credits and Green Options. He plays a lot of ultimate frisbee and loves bad jokes.

Spring Back Recycling: Saving mattresses from being thrown away while creating jobs
Spring Back Recycling combines environmentalism with social justice by hiring previously incarcerated people to recycle used mattresses.