Mattress Go Round adds spring to jobsBy Yasmine Regester
Published: October 24, 2012
When Robert Savino, president of Mattress Go Round, had the plan to create a company that would recycle mattresses, he had no idea the impact it would make.
Two years later the business has flourished into more than just a mattress recycling company. It employs second-chance people or individuals who have fallen on hard times and need a second chance. Savino, a native New Yorker, relocated to Greensboro with his wife and twin boys, shortly after the September 11 attacks.
While mentoring at UNCG, Savino said he kept hearing about problems with buying and discarding old mattresses. After extensive research, Savino found a way to help by recycling mattresses and selling them at a reduced cost to universities and non-profit agencies across North Carolina.
Mattress Go Round builds affordable institutional and residential quality mattresses with all new covers and layers of comfort fillers enveloping fully functional innersprings that have been inspected, strengthened and heat sanitized.
According to Savino, of the 40 million mattresses sold every year, 70 percent of those end up in landfills where they take years to decompose and take up space. Mattress companies tell consumers that beds should be thrown away after even eight years.
“We’ve been trained to think beds go bad when in reality they are more unsanitary way before it is considered bad,” said Savino who explained that the steel innersprings are built to be recycled.
“Its just as bad as throwing away aluminum and paper, which we know are recyclables. We’re teaching skills and everyone’s getting cross trained in different departments.”
Savino is currently in talks with the City of Greensboro to remove mattresses from the waste stream completely, thus saving the city money in regards to waste hauling. It is estimated that over 12,500 mattresses are put on the curb for pickup every year in Greensboro.
The company began with five people and a few interns. Today Mattress Go Round employs 34 floor people. Savino hopes to add another 10 employees in the next two months. A job-training program at the Welfare Reform Liaison Project (WRLP) connected those ‘second-chance’ individuals with Savino. “If you’re going to give someone an opportunity, you have to actually give them a chance. All I do is help keep them on that right track.”
Michael Blackwell, head of inspections in the Spring Department, was a WRLP hire. “We do everything we can to make sure each spring is reusable. We help Greensboro and the economy. This job gives people a chance to get 40 hours a week and sustain themselves. Its amazing how much it has grown.”
Because of cross training, Christie Andrews is now a seamstress, operates the baler and is learning to drive a fork-lift, job duties she never imagined herself having before. “I never saw myself doing this. I’ve even shocked myself. I saw the positivity Bob (Savino) had and I saw the
possibilities were endless. It’s a three-fold process, giving people jobs while cleaning up the community and saving businesses money,” said Andrews. She is currently working on obtaining a commercial drivers license.
Area residents are able to donate their old mattresses. Affordable new mattresses featuring revitalized innersprings are priced at 40 percent – to – 60 percent less than comparable bedding highly promoted in department or specialty stores. Mattress Go Round is also repurposing box springs into stylish headboards for the beds.
“The idea for making the headboards hit me while walking around our warehouse seeing the thousands of box springs that I just knew had to have another efficient use,” said Savino.
“I could see how those box springs could be saved, modified and a whole new product developed.” Headboards range from $129 to $189, depending on mattress size.
Mattress Go Round Outlet store is open 6 days a week: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (336) 676-4646, 1601 Yanceyville Street, Greensboro, North Carolina 27405.