Every year, many discarded mattresses are incinerated, when they can also be recycled. However, proper recycling requires cooperation between manufacturers, importers, mattress vendors, collectors, municipalities and recycling companies. Not only that, the system, similar to that of a deposit or the recycling fee for white goods, also needs to be facilitated. Automation and user self-service play a major role in this. After all, it must be possible to arrange the registration of mattresses and financial handling in a smart way and at a central location. And in such a way that all parties involved are happy to use it. A task that is right up Harborn's street!
Forging a recycling plan
It all starts in 2019, when the government was already looking for a sustainable solution for the annual mountain of discarded mattresses. The deadline to take action was approaching, and Royal CBM, the industry association for interior construction and furniture industry, receives the tender for the assignment. Together with the five largest mattress manufacturers, CBM establishes the MRN Foundation, where MRN stands for Mattress Recycling Netherlands. The foundation devises the scheme, to ensure that more mattresses are collected. And they need a digital environment for this, in which proper financial settlement - based on a newly introduced waste management fee - is essential. To do this, they were looking for a party with experience and expertise in automation. Harborn convinces with a proof of concept, where the team shows its ability to convert MRN's wishes and requirements into a user-friendly portal. The scheme devised by MRN was declared universally binding by the Ministry of I&W in 2021. This makes the waste management fee for mattresses mandatory, increasing the pressure to put the portal live before 2022.