How Are Old Mattresses Recycled

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How To Recycle A Mattress

For many years it was recommended that you change your mattress every 10 years, however in recent years the Sleep Council and the mattress industry have started to suggest changing your mattress after only 7 or 8 years of use.

Well, they would say that wouldn’t they?

The Sleep Council, who describe themselves as “an impartial organisation that looks at how you can adopt healthier sleep habits and focuses on raising awareness of a good night’s sleep to health and wellbeing” are the consumer education arm of the National Bed Federation, the trade association for British bed manufacturers.

Mattress manufacturers, naturally enough, want you to buy more mattresses.

So before you get rid of that mattress, the most environmentally friendly thing to do is ask yourself if you really need a new one. Yes, if the springs are sticking in your back or your bed is uncomfortable you absolutely do need to replace your mattress, but don’t feel you have to just because an advertisement from a mattress retailer told you to!

Could Your Mattress Be Reused?

If your mattress is still usable you could give it to someone who could use it:-

  • Give it to a friend or family member.
  • Donate it to a furniture reuse charity. Find your nearest one at Reuse Network.
  • Donate it to a local charity with a furniture warehouse.
  • Advertise it on Freecycle, Freegle or a local Facebook group.

How To Recycle Your Old Mattress

So what if your mattress is not in good enough condition to reuse? What is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of your old one?

The good news is that a mattress is 100% recyclable, yet sadly only around 16% are actually recycled in the UK. The rest are incinerated or sent to landfill.

If you are buying a mattress from a large retailer, they probably will offer to take your old mattress away, either for free or for a small charge. Large retailers such as Dreams, Marks and Spencer, Mattress Online and John Lewis amongst others will take away your old mattress for recycling when you buy a new one from them, for a small charge. You will need to book this when you order your mattress.

Other retailersmaytake away your mattress, but that doesn’t mean it will be recycled; it will probably go to landfill unless they state that the mattress is recycled.

If you just need to get rid of a mattress without buying a new one there are a number of commercial companies that will take a mattress away for a fee. Some of these are specialists in mattress disposal who will state whether they send mattresses for recycling.

What Else Can I Do With An Old Mattress?

You can ask your local council if they will collect your old mattress. You will normally be charged for this, you will probably have to leave the mattress outside your property and your mattress will probably go to landfill.

You can also take your mattress to your local household recycling centre; again it will probably go to landfill.

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How Are Mattresses Recycled?

The mattress is taken apart, usually by hand in an extremely labour intensive procedure, hence the higher cost of sending your mattress for recycling. The springs have to be removed to be sent for metal recycling. The foam can be recycled to make carpet underlay.

At present the textile material is difficult to recycle and will generally be used as a fuel in an energy-to-waste facility.

However an innovative new machine, the first of its type, has been developed by The Furniture Recycling Group which automates the removal of springs from old pocket spring mattresses.

Have your mattress booked to be picked up within minutes, and reclaim your free space today!

You have anold mattressyou want to dispose of and we have the perfect means to do so.

We provide the quickest, easiest, and greenestmattress recyclingaround. Just book your mattress, bed base, or bed frame to be picked up right here and rest assured that we’ll do the rest for you. That’s professional, hassle-freemattress recycling– and you did all of it online in a matter of minutes!

For some further reading… We understand that handling thedisposal of mattressescan be tricky business. You need to spend on dumping fees, pay for fuel consumed by the trailer that you need to haul the mattresses (not to mention paying for hiring a trailer if you need to), and of course you also need to invest some of your time and effort to transport your mattresses to the landfill. Worse still is that your old mattresses will simply add up to the rest of the 1.25 million mattresses that end up in landfills each year in Australia. You’re absolutely right: mattresses disposal takes up too much time, money, and effort. Don’t worry! We’re on hand to help rid you of these worries through our professionalmattress removal service. You can also be assured that our drivers are very careful of your property, some companies that drive large vehicles don’t respect a client’s property. Our driver went to the finest truck driving school Sydney has to offer before moving to Melbourne.

We won’t be sending your mattresses to the landfills to add to the dump. All usable parts of the mattresses will be recycled for uses specific to them, while some parts will be used for refurbishment.

We recycle 97% of mattresses, helping drive the initiative towards a greener, more responsible Australia.

Just set a time and a date when you want your mattresses (or bed bases or bed frames) to be picked up from your home and we’ll send the best among our
listedmattress disposal Melbourneservice providers. You don’t need to do it yourself. You don’t need to fret over which company to choose. You can help save the environment and become part of Australia’s environmental initiatives. Best of all, you accomplish all transactions over the Internet – from scheduling to payment. Set it up and forget it! We’ll take care of the rest.

Removing a mattress can cause complications especially if they are a king size mattress or a double mattress, however you can rest assured we are fully insured and partner with some of the best blue collar companies around. So whether we accidental damage your interior in the process or need to replace a window. Even during the loading process accidents can happen and we have companies to do door repairs and downpipe and gutter repair.

The simple job ofold mattress collectionsshouldn’t be too troublesome. Let us take this worry off your shoulders through ourmattress recycling serviceso you can go straight ahead and buy your new mattress. A pocket spring mattress is fantastic for your back and will help you have a great night’s sleep. Also don’t forget that you can get very good foam mattresses throughout Australia, and do not forget who to contact when you want it recycled or just refreshed.

You’re one step away from being a part of the solution…. Don’t let this sit around your backyard!

Some of my clients think that having your trees removed from your garden is a part of the problem, but responsible companies like The Tree Firm actually contribute to charities to help plant trees and also recycle the wood chippings that they generate when cutting down unwanted trees. Dying or dead trees can be hazardous so they are likely to do more good being cut down in a safe manner and then can be recycled into paper or building materials.

Mattress Recycling Business Opportunities

Landfill Bans and Environmental Responsibility Initiatives Spur Development

Mattress recycling has emerged as a recycling business opportunity in recent years. It has been aided by the greater than four million old mattresses and a similar number of box springs being disposed of every year, in conjunction with growing pressures to better manage this waste stream. Landfill pressures and environmental responsibility initiatives have helped position mattress recycling as an emerging opportunity within the recycling industry, with more mattress recycling operations continuing to open.

Why Recycle Old Mattresses and Box Springs

Almost 4.5 million mattresses and 4.5 million box springs are sent to the landfill or incinerator every year in the United States, according to Nationwide Mattress Recycling, amounting to 250 million pounds of mattress material. With an average mattress consuming 23 cubic feet of space in a landfill, and the threat of fire retardants leaching from them, there is increasing pressure from landfills to divert old beds.

At the same time, environmental initiatives by the mattress industry, retailers, institutions and the hospitality industry also are creating an increased demand for mattress recycling services. The good news is that mattresses are widely recyclable – over 95 percent on average according to one mattress recycler.

Sources of Mattresses

Sources of mattresses can include:

  • Municipal waste management and recycling programs
  • Institutions
  • Hotels and other hospitality industry generators of old mattresses
  • Mattress manufacturers and retailers offering to recycle old mattresses
  • Individual households
  • Charity programs that generate unusable mattresses while attempting to provide mattresses to those in need
  • Also consider taking stuffed furniture as well.

Public policy changes can have an important influence on increasing mattress recycling, and can increase the viability of a mattress recycling business where favorable incentives are in place. Corporate mattress recycling initiatives, such as the one announced by Ikea, can also drive the need for recycling service providers.

As of 2017, there were 56 mattress recycling facilities in North America, an uptick of 30% since 2013.

Sources of Revenue

Typically, mattress recyclers charge to accept old mattresses – based on websites reviewed; this is generally in the $12 -20 range. Recycled materials are also sold. In some jurisdictions, stewardship fees will help improve the viability of recycling operations.

Charging fees can deter old mattress recovery, however. Free drop-off can stimulate recycling efforts. Some jurisdictions facilitate the cost of recycling by levying a product recycling fee at the time of new pallet purchase.

Facility and Equipment Requirements

A mattress recycling facility requires covered warehouse space with receiving/shipping doors and dock plates to receive inbound mattresses, a teardown area for disassembling mattresses, and storage for unbaled and baled residuals of the teardown process.

Equipment may include a range of machinery, including industrial baler, wood grinding equipment, forklift or pallet jack for moving bales, open bins for recovered steel, and a compactor for non-recyclable residuals.

How It Works

Mattresses and box springs are created from a number of materials, including wood, metal, fabric and plastic, which can all be recycled once they are separated. The recovery rate of recyclable bed materials is over 95 percent. At Canadian Mattress Recycling, operators take apart box springs and mattresses by hand. As these products are being dismantled, materials are sorted and segregated. Some materials are baled to save space in the recycling facility and provide transport efficiencies. Wood can be reduced to chips and steel sent to steel recyclers. Materials recovered can include:

  • Wood
  • Fabric
  • Felt
  • Foam
  • Cotton
  • Plastic

Markets for Recovered Materials

Aside from receiving compensation for incoming mattresses, recyclers also hope to generate revenue from the reclaimed materials:

  • Quilting and foam can be turned into carpet underlay.
  • Wood is recycled into biofuel or other recycled wood products
  • Plastic is recycled by plastic recyclers
  • Steel from the boxsprings is recycled into new metal products
  • Cotton and felt can be recycled into new felt and insulation

Mattress Recycling Companies and Organizations

Statewide mattress recycling stewardship programs have been established in California, Rhode Island and Connecticut. The Bye Bye Mattress program, operated by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) has made a difference in those states. Almost three years after MRC first launched Bye Bye Mattress, MRC recyclers have collected 3 million mattresses from hundreds of cities, towns, solid waste facilities, landfills, and other entities like retailers, hotels, and universities.

For more information on mattress recycling, please contact the Mattress Recycling Council and the International Sleep Products Association.

Mattress Recycling Is Easier Than You Think

80 percent of the components in a mattress can be recycled

Because one old mattress can occupy 40 cubic feet or more in a landfill, mattresses are an obvious candidate for recycling. And although 80 percent of the components can be recycled, not everyone makes the effort. That’s one reason Rhode Island has become the third state to require that mattresses be recycled joining California and Connecticut. And at least 20 other states have mattress recycling facilities.

Rhode Island launches its approved recycling plan on May 1. It’s operated by Bye Bye Mattress, which was established by the Mattress Recycling Council. In the three states where recycling is mandatory, mattress retailers are adding a $10 recycling fee to the price of every mattress sold.

At least 20 million mattresses and box springs are discarded each year. In addition to being better for the environment, recycling an old mattress makes good business sense. There are plenty of materials to glean from a dismantled mattress, a process that’s typically done by hand. Steel from the springs can be melted down and used in many products. Foam is often processed into carpet padding. Wood from box springs can be made into wood chips for mulch. And fiber is reprocessed for a number of uses, such as filters for industrial equipment.

Even if you don’t live in a state that requires mattress recycling, check the Bye Bye Mattress database to find the recycling center closest to you.

That’s for when you get rid of an mattress, but you certainly don’t want to unknowingly buy one. Be aware that some smaller, lesser-known stores could be selling used mattresses. To avoid ending up with someone else’s old mattress, always look for the label “All New Material” on the tag. And if a mattress is delivered to you without that tag, don’t accept it.

How are old mattresses recycled

100 Places to Recycle Your Old Mattress

When you’re looking to buy a mattress or a mattress topper, it’s always important to make sure that the products you’re looking at are certified to be safe! Lab tests are the only reliable way to know a product is free from harmful chemicals or emissions. Products can have components produced in various countries with different legal requirements regarding possibly harmful substances. This is why it’s so important to have global, transparent, standardized tests of product safety.

o you just bought a new mattress and are ready to finally get a good night’s sleep? You set up the mattress on your bed frame. You lay down on it for second and relish in the comfort you will soon be experiencing every night. Then, out of the corner of your eye, you see your old, ugly, worn out mattress. What are you going to do with that thing? It’s a question that all new mattress buyers grapple with.

Keep your old mattress out of a landfill

Almost 20 million mattresses are sent to landfills or incinerators every year in the United States. This results in 450 million pounds of material occupying over 100 million cubic feet of landfill space. Conventional Mattresses are a terrible addition to landfills. They are difficult to compact, so they take up a large amount of space. Conventional mattresses contain synthetic foam and fibers, which are not biodegradable. Additionally, most conventional mattresses contain hazardous flame retardant chemicals which can potentially work their way into our drinking water.

Mattresses are almost completely recyclable

The great tragedy of the vast quantities of mattresses which end up in landfills is that most materials in mattresses can be recycled. According to mattress recyclers, 85% to 95% of the material used in a mattress can be recycled.

Here’s a look at some of the most common recyclable materials found in mattresses:


The average mattress contains 25 pounds of steel. By weight, steel makes up the largest component of an average mattress. With steel recycling facilities across the USA, it is also the easiest component to recycle. One issue that mattress recyclers can have is compacting steel springs enough so that they can be transported to a scrapyard in a cost effective manner. Once removed from the mattress, the steel can be melted down and reused.

Polyurethane Foam

Most mattresses also contain a large amount of polyurethane foam, which is fairly simple to reuse. Foam can be shredded and sold to carpet padding manufactures. Carpet padding manufacturers compress the shredded foam and bond the shredded pieces together to create carpet padding. Thicker “rebond” foam can also be created through a similar process. Rebond foam can be found in vehicle seating, motorcycle seating, exercise equipment and many other applications where extremely dense foam is needed.

Natural Fibers

Natural Fibers such as cotton can be shredded or used to create fiber like yarn. This yarn will then be cleaned and respun before being reused in another textile application. If the fibers are shredded they will go through a similar cleaning process before being used as a filling in a new application such as a sofa cushion, dog bed or even another mattress.

Synthetic Fibers

Synthetic fibers such as polyester are shredded and granulated into small polyester “chips”. These chips can be melted and used in new polyester textiles. Many clothing items and mattress fabrics incorporate recycled polyester.

Consider reusing your mattress

Before you call up your local mattress recycling facility, there are some other options you may want to consider. Consider giving your old mattress to a friend or family member. Many old mattresses can be given new life with a new comfortable mattress topper. Putting your old mattress back into use is the ultimate way to recycle it. It is the least energy intensive and most cost effective way to improve old mattress. If you can not find anyone that will take your mattress, you may be able to give it away (or sell it) on craigslist. You can also check with local charities or thrift stores to see if they accept used mattresses. (This is becoming harder due to the increasing presence and awareness of bed bugs) Be sure to check with the charity to ensure your mattress can be reused. The most common mattress size in the US is Queen but charities are usually most in need of Twin or Twin XL mattresses.

Mattress Recycling is available nationwide

If you’ve considered the above possibilities and still want to get rid of your old mattress, it’s time to find a mattress recycling facility! Check out our list of mattress recyclers to find the best option near you. We have tried to ensure all of the information is as complete and accurate as possible but you should call to confirm before dropping your mattress off. If you have any additional information we can add to our list, please let us know!

LaBlanc, Rick. "Textile Recycling to Divert Material From Landfills."About Textile Recycling., n.d. Web. 29 May 2014. .

"DOR Mattress Recycling."DOR Home. Iowa State University, n.d. Web. 30 May 2014. .

Grayson, Jennifer. "Eco Etiquette: Used Mattresses – Icky Or Eco?"The Huffington Post., 20 July 2011. Web. 30 May 2014. .

Fowler, Carol. "Mattress Recycling: Industry Calls For National Plan – Viewpoints Articles."Viewpoints Articles. Viewpoints, 18 Mar. 2014. Web. 30 May 2014. .

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