Bounce Back Recycling

BBR LogoMartin Ward BBR

Bounce Back Recycling, was founded by Martin Ward in 2017. Originating from work undertaken by the Galway Traveller Movement since 1994; Bounce Back Recycling is a social enterprise that delivers a mattress recycling service in the Connaught/Ulster waste region.

Based in Ballybane Galway City, their social enterprise mission is to:

- Increase employment opportunities for Traveller men and women,

- Develop a powerful model of economic self-determination to inspire the wider community,

- Reclaim the community's role in environmental and economic sustainability.

- Promote the visibility of our work in order to challenge racism and discrimination.

In four short years, Bounce Back Recycling has become the national leader in mattress recycling in Ireland and has expanded its operations from Galway to the Ulster/Connaught region.

Bounce Back Recycling recycles approximately 20,000 items per annum which includes mattresses, bed bases and couches.


Martin is passionate about creating employment and wanted his business to create employment opportunities for members of the Traveller. Bounce Back Recycling successfully employees 12 members of the Traveller community. “We were inspired by our communities long history in the circular economy which links to the tinsmith.”

Research & Overcoming hurdles

Bounce Back Recycling first completed a feasibility study in 2014. The market research conducted drew in a lot of data from outside Ireland. The concept had never been explored on the island – a first to market; “We have since set up a mattress working group with the Environmental Protection agency and there is now research available on the mattress recycling scene in Ireland”, says Martin.

Making the Decision to Become Self Employed

Martin wanted to become self-employed but for the right reasons. He wanted to help the community and the environment. By founding a social enterprise, he is helping to deliver social and environmental impacts.

Challenges & Opportunities

A big challenge for Bounce Back Recycling was finding solutions/streams for the materials of a deconstructed mattress within Ireland.

“Mattresses are collected from relevant retailers and local authority Civic Amenity sites. At our site we use mechanical equipment and workers to sort and disassemble the mattress into their subsequent component material parts. We then group or bale the separated sorted material (metal, foam, textiles, banding, feathers) and transport to appropriate end markets for reuse, recycling, recovery and or disposal as a last option. All is done in accordance with best practice and in accordance with our facility and collection permits.”

Bounce Back Recycling have collected almost 12,000 mattresses from homes, retailers and local authority sites,  at an average of 21.5kg weight, this means they have diverted 257.075 tonnes of waste from landfill.

“Via recycling we keep at least 50% within the economy to serve as raw material feedstock to make new products by manufacturers. This is Circular Economy and Sustainable use in practice.”

LEO Support

The MODOS Innovation Award is the first LEO support that Bounce Back Ireland has applied for and won.

Adapting to Covid-19

To keep staff safe, Martin had to stagger shifts. They also came up with a new way of conducting business “We had to develop a click and collect service and build an ecommerce website to take bookings.”

Winning the MODOS Award

With its MODOS Innovation Award project Bounce Back Recycling plans to research the feasibility of alternative markets for reuse/recycling. By examining the efficient and cost effective techniques for waste mattress separation, baling and transport, transporting the sorted component materials, such as foam and textile to the UK, they hope to expand their operation. They believe that the materials can be remanufactured for horse blankets and other repurposed recycled product. “This was great to win as it will hopefully make our social enterprise more circular by identifying markets for materials.”

2022 & Beyond

Expansion is definitely on the cards for Bounce Back.

“We want to grow to become a national brand and deliver our mattress recycling service to the 26 counties of Ireland.” You may see a Bounce Back Recycling vehicle in your county soon!

Life Of A Mattress BBR



Tel: 091 760877