The ASK Wellness Society would like to acknowledge that our programs and facilities operate on Secwepemcúl'ecw, Nłeʔkepmx Tmíxʷ, and Syilx tmixʷ traditional and unceded territories.
November 3, 2021

ASK Wellness Society Expands Mattress Recycling Program with Investment from Interior Savings

ASK Wellness Society (ASK) and Interior Savings are excited to announce their partnership.

ASK Wellness Society (ASK) and Interior Savings are excited to announce their partnership. With a $10,000 grant from Interior Savings’ Community Investment Fund, ASK will expand training opportunities for program participants and diversify their revenue.

The Mattress Recycling Program is a supported employment initiative intended to provide meaningful employment opportunities to barriered individuals. The program is designed to reduce barriers to support individuals to remain gainfully employed, through access to transportation, meals provided at work, and accommodations to ensure the health and wellbeing of program participants. The program’s community impact is two-fold; while assisting marginalized and vulnerable adult populations to become financially empowered, contributing community members, a key operational component is the significant environmental impact of the program.

Every month the program recycles between 800 and 1000 mattresses in the Kamloops region, diverting all mattress materials from our local waste stream, apart from the mattress fabric. By recycling 85% of mattress components, the program is not only contributing to a circular economy, but also helping to extend the lifeline of our regional landfills.

Cheryl Doolan – Director People Experience and Employment, ASK, Connie Hum – Branch Manager, Interior Savings Lansdowne, Janna McConechy - Branch Manager, Interior Savings Valleyview, Lori Bushill - Branch Manager, Interior Savings Tranquille, Derek Dixon - Branch Manager, Interior Savings Summit, Patti Moores – Employment Development Lead, ASK

While the program runs in partnership with the City of Kamloops, only 75% of funding is covered by operational revenue. The other 25% of operating and program costs are shouldered by the ASK Wellness Society, relying on community funding and donations to support the revenue gap. This highlights the critical impact and significance of the partnership with Interior Savings.

“We’re proud to play a role in helping organizations build for the future”, says Kathy Conway, CEO of Interior Savings.

“This is an investment in our community, our planet, and in the future of individuals who are taking steps to build confidence and fulfill their potential. It’s a wonderful example of local money for local good.”

The grant from Interior Savings will support the purchase of new power tools vital to the program’s latest project of expanding their repurposed wood production. Currently the wood is recycled into pallets and sold to a company that ships across Canada. The new tools will help in the production of planter boxes and firewood bundles. This new production line will also ultimately result in increased skills and abilities for those working at the program.

“The employment of individuals who would otherwise be outside the workforce and the positive environmental outcomes from the mattress recycling plant operated by ASK are some of the most important efforts of our agency,” says ASK’s CEO, Bob Hughes.

“Throughout the recycling process, we require extensive equipment and tools that we have no budget for. The donation by Interior Savings will make the work site safer, increase revenue, improve efficiency, and help keep the program operating into the coming years. Recognition by Interior Savings of our efforts to create meaningful employment for those living with employment barriers provides us with further inspiration to deliver this important social and environmental program.”

Article written by 
ASK Wellness Society
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