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How to Dispose of an Old Mattress

Here's how to dispose of an old mattress!

The obvious answer is to ensure that when you buy a new mattress, you always arrange for your old mattress to be removed by the company that sold you the new one. Their van can be filled with old mattresses when they return to their depot. It is really quite a fuel efficient to return the old mattresses to the seller's warehouse. Once they have enough mattresses a truckload of them can then be taken for specialist recycling by a mattress disposal company.

Nevertheless, there will always be occasions when this isn't possible, so read on!

Image is feature image for the article How recycle a mattress.

Dumping your mattress improperly comes with negative consequences to the environment as well as your pocketbook. If you leave it on your curb for garbage collection, for example, you could face an ‘illegal dumping’ misdemeanour charge and be required to put in community service or face other forms of restitution.

In addition, a landfill is not an eco-friendly way to dispose of your mattress for a few reasons. They don’t compact well, they can form flammable air pockets within the layers, and they take up tons of space.

Mattresses often become lodged in equipment if they end up in Waste Management Centres, causing damage and increasing costs, which we all end up paying for.

If landfilled they contribute to the potential pollution which would be caused if the landfill lining ever develops a leak. Unfortunately, this is quite likely as many landfill linings have already developed leaks.

The good news, of course, is that you don’t necessarily have to take your mattress to a landfill at all. Here are some more responsible options to help dispose of your mattress.

Recycling Your Mattress 

There are four main components of your mattress that can be recycled: steel, foam, wood, and fibres. Eighty-five percent of these materials can be recycled. Steel can be used for new appliances, wood for mulch, fibres for clothing, and foam for pet beds. Knowing this, you can feel good about not resorting to dumping your mattress in a landfill. So if your mattress is in too poor condition to be donated and reused, its materials can still be recycled. There are organizations to help you with that.

Most areas have recycling centres that know the ins and outs of making sure your mattress gets recycled properly. Here are some tools that can help you locate a recycling service in your area.

  • Earth 911 locates recycling programs for various items you need to get rid of. However, this tool doesn’t filter between recycling and junk removal programs, so make sure that your mattress will actually be recycled.
  • Bye, Bye Mattress is a service provided by the Mattress Recycling Council and is available in Rhode Island, California, and Connecticut.
  • Sleep on Latex is a service consisting of 100 recycling facilities across the nation. You simply click on the location nearest you for details.
  • Keep America Beautiful allows you to find recycling centres in your area by entering your zip code.

It’s important to do your research and pick the most respected option in your neighbourhood because not every service that claims they’ll pick up your mattress and recycle it actually follows through unless you explicitly specify that you want it recycled. Make sure that you know where your mattress is going before hiring a junk removal service.

Donating Your Mattress

If your mattress is still in good condition, you can donate to charitable organizations that will provide it to those in need. However, it’s a good idea to call charities beforehand to make sure that they are equipped to take your usable mattresses and will get them to the right place. Here are some major charitable organizations that will take usable mattresses without rips or stains.

  • Habitat for Humanity places no age limit on mattresses, but they do need to be inspected for approval. If approved, your mattress will be sanitized and sent to the closest Habitat ReStore to be sold in your community.
  • Beds for Kids does place an age limit of 8 years on your donated mattress, and they don’t take king-size. If approved, however, your mattress will help a family transitioning out of homelessness.
  • Google is always a great source for “…near me” searches. Try “mattress recycling near me” or “mattress donation near me”, then call to clarify what specific services each place provides.

The most important factor to keep in mind when deciding how to dispose of your mattress is to educate yourself about charitable organizations, recycling centres, and junk removal services in your area before you settle on an option to help you dispose of your old mattress. Make sure that the charity in question, should you be donating, accepts mattresses at the centres nearest to you and that the removal service, should you be recycling, will follow through and recycle your mattress.

Disposing of a mattress might seem like a particularly arduous task, but it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. Just find an option that best suits your needs, and then reach out to the professionals, and let them handle everything else.

Author: Lisa Smalls

Disposal of Modern Pocket Mattresses

Image about pocket mattress recycling.
CC BY-NC-ND by Dreams Beds and Mattresses

Pocket mattresses may be wonderfully comfortable, but have you ever thought about how many pockets need to be cut open to separate the metal from the fabric?

Yep! For these beds, there are thousands of pockets to be opened, with a single bed spring in each before the materials can be separated and re-used or recycled!

Until recently this had to be done manually using a hand knife, so the cost was very high.

However, an enterprising UK mattress recycling company has now developed a machine which does this automatically and rapidly as well.

The company plans to sell their machine to other companies which wish to recycle pocket spring mattresses when their development and testing are complete.

Now that you know what to do with an old mattress, we hope you will find a responsible way to dispose of your mattress quickly and easily. If you do, please return and tell us all about it, by adding a comment below.

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  1. Thanks for your tips on mattress disposal.

    I was thinking these are kinda large items to just chuck out on the tip.


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