Soft Landing Mattress Recycling wins ‘ACT Sustainable Community of the Year, 2016’

Soft Landing Mattress Recycling has won the title of Keep Australia Beautiful ‘ACT Sustainable Community of the Year 2016’ for their important waste recovery work and for their commitment to providing employment for some of ACT’s most vulnerable community members. The awards celebrate environmental and social sustainability practices by Canberra’s communities, businesses, education institutions, individuals, and all levels of government. As well as winning the overall award, Soft Landing took home the Dame Phyllis Frost Litter Prevention, Waste Management and Resource Recovery award.


In their first five months of operation, social enterprise, Soft Landing Mattress Recycling has recovered over 5000 end of life mattresses representing an average 71 tonnes monthly. Over 80% of mattress materials are recycled. Not content with this impressive achievement Soft Landing aspires to a 100% diversion rate by 2020.

Soft Landing are commitment to providing training and employment opportunities and a supportive work environment for people experiencing barriers to joining to workforce. 70% of Soft Landing’s current staff are Indigenous Australians with barriers to employment, and 85% are from their broader target groups including the long term unemployed and those with complex barriers to work, including people with mental health issues.

Cormac Farrell, 2016 ACT Sustainable Communities lead judge, said “Soft Landing Mattress Recycling are worthy winners of this award. In addition to an impressive recycling rate they are a leading example of how businesses can combine social and environmental sustainability. Their win shows the things that can be achieved when people work with both their hearts and their heads.”

Of the win, Soft Landing National Operations Manager said: “Soft Landing are proud to be the winners of the ACT Keep Australia Beautiful Awards. The award represents the great Environmental achievements this site has achieved already but more importantly the life changing social outcomes with the 8 jobs already created and the 10 Work for the Dole training opportunities being undertaken on our site. It’s a true Waste2Wages success story in action.”

Soft Landing Mattress Recycling will now go on to represent the ACT at the 2016 Keep Australia Beautiful, Australian Sustainable Communities Awards, at an event to be held in Frankston Victoria this November.

Dr David Shorthouse was also recognised at the breakfast awards event for over 45 years of service to nature conservation and environmental sustainability in the ACT, winning the Individual ACTion award. Dr Shorthouse has been pivotal in shaping environmental thinking and outcomes within ACT government, industry and community having worked as a university lecturer, author, ecological researcher, environmental planner, government advisor, project developer, and environmental consultant on urban land development.

Philip Robinson, Keep Australia Beautiful Chief Executive Officer said, “It is inspirational to see so many individuals, schools, community organisations and businesses embarking on practical, grass roots activities aimed at building a more sustainable future.”

The morning was attended by Dr Chris Bourke MLA, Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Affairs; Minister for Children and Young People; Minister for Disability; Minister for Small Business and the Arts and Ms Dorte Ekelund, Director General, Environment & Sustainable Development Directorate who presented awards.

The Keep Australia Beautiful ACT Sustainable Communities Awards are an initiative of Keep Australia Beautiful National, sponsored by the Australian Packaging Covenant; the department of the ACT Environment and Planning Directorate.

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ACT Sustainable Cities 2016 Category Winners

Category Winner Commendation Sponsor
Environmental Education Southern Tablelands Ecosystem Park
Young Legends Maribyrnong Primary School Jacob Keed
SAM (Sustainability at Merici)
Environmental Sustainability: Energy Innovation Light House Architecture and Science ACT Environment and Planning Directorate.
Environmental Sustainability: Nature Conservation Southern Tablelands Ecosystem Park
Community Action and Wellbeing GrowSPACE Hand-in-Hand Outreach Program
Dame Phyllis FrostLitter Prevention, Resource Recovery and Waste Management Soft Landing Mattress Recycling Australian Packaging Covenant
Individual ACTion Dr David Shorthouse One of a Kind Apartments
ACT Sustainable Community of the Year, 2016 Soft Landing Mattress Recycling    

Winner contact: Sarah Chisholm, Manager-Communications, 0416 179 416,

Judge Contact: Cormac Farrell, 0422 441 358

Media comment: Philip Robinson, CEO Keep Australia Beautiful 0413 354 680

Media contact: Jen Bryant, Programs Coordinator, Keep Australia Beautiful 0402 072 911

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