A partnership between a local church ministry and Belmont University is helping not only the environment, but former homeless and incarcerated men. Ron Harness is one of the former inmates working for Spring Back Recycling, which recycles old mattresses and was started by Belmont Church. Harness told Nashville's News 2 he was released from jail last year. "I came out feeling pretty low about myself. I didn't have much self esteem," he said. Since his release, Harness said he has been working hard to rebuild his life. "I have been in recovery for 12 months as well, through a 12 step program," he explained. Since beginning the recycling operation, the ministry has diverted 1,800 mattresses from clogging landfills and disassembled the materials to be sold for scrap.
"So far we have kept over 30,000 pounds, 15 tons out of the landfill," Student Eric Taft said,
The business has proven to be successful in part due to the hard work of the former inmates and Belmont students. "We have done a lot of the research, a lot of the sales pitching, a lot of doing cash flow analysis, your basic business things of going about projects," explained Belmont student Rami Nofal. Harness said that he has enjoyed the partnership with Belmont and the college students. "They make you fell like a friend, you know, like you are a worth while person," he said. Spring Back Recycling is located at 54 Parris Avenue in Nashville. The recycling center charges a $10 disposal fee for mattresses. For more information call 615-207-2736 or visit SpringbackRecycling.com.