More than 400,000 men are released from prison each year. Those who are released, face daunting obstacles as they aim to rebrand themselves. This effects our economy because so many men transitioning back into society go unemployed. Conway found out about this vicious cycle while volunteering at the Denver Rescue Mission.
As he worked alongside some of the formerly incarcerated men there, he began to understand the frustrations the men faced as they applied for job after job only to be denied. These men wanted to work, but simply weren't being given the opportunity.
Conway saw a community of broken men neglected by society. He decided to start a business that would give formerly incarcerated men the opportunity to reinvent themselves while transitioning out of prison life. The workplace would need to become a community. He would inspire independence, pride, and hope through stable, respectable employment.
Conway owned and operated a successful residential development company for 27 years in Boulder, CO before Spring Back was even a thought. On project sites, he learned that creating a respectable work environment made the men quite supportive of each other. When the recession destroyed the housing market, he longed to be part of a team again.
Conway aimed to resolve the issue by combining the need for employees and the need for low-priced mattresses. What he created was a company that could give back to the community while protecting the environment. Spring Back Colorado mattress recycling began in 2012 with the mission to recycle and repurpose the material from used mattresses. The men Conway worked with at the Denver Rescue Mission became perfect candidates for employees.
At a conference a few years later, Conway was introduced to Gone for Good’s Geoff Davis. Today, he travels to their warehouse every third Wednesday of the month to pick up mattresses to be recycled and repurposed. In return, Davis assists Conway’s men with housing and sets them up with furniture for their new apartments. “It’s a symbiotic relationship,” says Conway, “we break down over 90% of each mattress we receive from Gone for Good.”
During our tour, Conway showed us how the mattresses are filleted and separated for materials. All around the warehouse, there are large tables used for disassembling the layers of the mattresses. The tape edge machine allows for sanitation if mattresses are in really bad shape but can still be useful.
There are three balers that each have specific capabilities for specific materials such as metal, cotton, and petroleum-based foams. By modifying one 60in vertical baler, Conway has developed a way to keep all of the foam and cotton components together. The others, 2 72in horizontal balers, are used for steel components and heavy-duty padding.
The triple bottom line at Spring Back is people, planet and purpose. Just like Gone for Good, Conway aims to benefit the people and the planet through the purpose of his work. Each company provides a service to the other that would not be possible otherwise. For more information on how to get involved with Spring Back please visit their website at: https://www.springbackco.org/ . If you have any old mattresses that you want to dispose of responsibly call Gone for Good and schedule your pick-up time: (720) 594-2292.