How Can I Recycle My Mattress

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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.

Mattress Disposal & Recycling

Tossing an old mattress can be difficult. Not only are mattresses large and difficult to move on your own, they also can’t simply be thrown in the garbage. If you handle it on your own, most of the options for mattress disposal will require a lot of time and effort on your part.

Mattress removal services near you

The good news is, there’s an easy way to get rid of your old mattress. (And it doesn’t involve abandoning it in an alleyway!) If you need a hand with mattress removal, give 1-800-GOT-JUNK? a call. We’ll get that old mattress out of your way in no time and you won’t have to lift a finger. Let us do all the heavy lifting for you. All you have to do is point! We’re in your neighborhood—find a 1-800-GOT-JUNK? location near you.

Here’s how our service works:

1.Schedule your free onsite estimate online or by calling1-800-468-5865.

2.Our friendly, uniformed truck team will call you 15-30 minutes before your scheduled appointment window to let you know when to expect them.

3.When we arrive, just point to the old mattress you want to have removed and we’ll provide you with an up-front, all-inclusive price.

4.Once you say the word, we’ll haul your mattress away from wherever it’s located and finish by tidying up the area. Plus, we will recycle and donate whatever we can, whenever possible.

Can you donate a mattress?

Absolutely! As long as your mattress is in good condition, it can be donated. This means your mattress should be free from stains, rips, or tears, and not be broken in any way. Each local charitable organization that accepts mattress donations will have slightly different standards for what they take, so it’s best to check with them before you drop it off.

Does 1-800-GOT-JUNK? take old mattresses with bed bugs?

Rules and regulations differ from city to city, so accepting mattresses with bed bugs might not be possible for every 1-800-GOT-JUNK? location.

If you are dealing with a bed bug problem, please let us know ahead of time when you book your on-site estimate. If we’re able to accept it, we ask that you have a pest control professional treat and wrap your mattress completely in plastic before we arrive for pickup. It should also be labeled as “Contains Bed Bugs” to alert others who may handle the mattress. This helps to ensure that the bed bugs from your mattress aren’t spread to other people’s homes.

Can old mattresses be recycled?

Yes, mattresses can be recycled and the practice is fairly common. Through mattress recycling, approximately 80-90% of the mattress can be reused. That’s quite a lot of material that can be reused and turned into new products!

What parts of a mattress can be recycled?

Steel springs, wood frames, stuffing, and fabric are all contained in a mattress and can be recycled and reused in different ways. However, mattresses can’t simply be left out for pickup with your regular recycling. You’ll often need to find a facility that specializes in mattress recycling, and you’ll need to transport it there on your own.

Why is recycling a mattress is good for the environment?

When you decide to recycle your old mattress, you help reduce the amount of waste that ends up in your local landfill. Many parts of the mattress need to be recycled, as they take decades to decompose if they end up in a landfill.

How do I know when to get a new mattress?

There are several signs that it’s time to get a new mattress. These include:

  1. The mattress is over 8 years old.
  2. It creaks or squeaks when you move on it.
  3. It rolls you toward the centre when you lie down.
  4. Your back hurts when you get up in the morning.
  5. You don’t feel like you get a restful sleep each night.
  6. The mattress noticeably sags in the middle.
  7. You often wake up feeling congested due to dust allergies.

Sleeping on an old mattress could have long term effects on your health, so it’s important to address the issue as soon as possible.

Can an old mattress cause allergies?

Yes, old mattresses often cause allergies. If you have allergy symptoms only at night time, your mattress could be infested with dust mites! They are one of the most common household allergens and like to hide in the cotton folds of your mattress. If you think this is the case, it’s best to get rid of the mattress immediately and get a new one that is dust mite resistant.

How to Recycle Mattresses

Mattresses are just about the bulkiest item a consumer can recycle. On the plus side, you’re likely only disposing of one once every 10 to 20 years, but the size and weight means it won’t be an easy process.

The good news is that mattresses contain several valuable materials like steel that increases the recycling market. However, most mattress recycling companies don’t want to deal with consumers disposing of one mattress, especially if you need it hauled away. This means your best bet is to find a hauler who will recycle it for you.

Here are the four best options (in order of ease and cost) to accomplish this:

  1. If you’re buying a replacement mattress that is being delivered, ask if the store will haul away your old mattress for recycling.
  2. If your local recycling program offers bulk waste collection, call and ask if mattresses are included and recycled.
  3. Call a secondhand store like Goodwill, The Salvation Army or St. Vincent de Paul (each local affiliate has different acceptance/collection rules) and ask if mattress donations are accepted/hauled away for recycling.
  4. If you’re recycling a mattress to clean out a property, find a local hauling company that will take away this and other items for recycling. You can find these companies in the phone book or using an online search engine like Yelp.

Frequent Mattress Recycling Questions

St. Vincent de Paul has its own recycling program in California and Oregon that recycles 170,000 mattresses and box springs annually, so it’s possible your local store will accept and ship them for recycling.

Metal springs are sold as scrap metal, as steel is one of the most commonly recycled materials in the world. The wood is often chipped or used for mulch. The foam can be recycled into carpet padding, and fabrics can be recycled into industrial machinery filters.

Additional Reading

  • Bye Bye Mattress:Educational guide and recycling locator for California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, provided by the Mattress Recycling Council
  • dreamGreen:A video on Mattress Firm’s recycling initiative, including a breakdown of how mattresses are recycled
  • How One Company Is Changing Mattress-Making:Some small-scale manufacturers are trying to shake up the mattress-making industry and inject some ease into the shopping experience, making it a little more eco-friendly, too
  • Green Label Guide: Mattresses:A look at some of the industry’s most relevant third-party certifiers and a few rules on how to evaluate them

How to Dispose of Your Old Mattress

January 25, 2018

Is it time to buy a new mattress? Are you wondering what to do with your old mattress? The sheer size of a mattress, not to mention the weight, can make it difficult for you to move your mattress, even if you have help. The reason why there’s a growing need for learning how to dispose of an old mattress, is because so many people are now buying their new mattresses online. While buying a mattress online is the preferred way to buy a new mattress nowadays, it’s harder to find someone who can take away the old mattress when a new mattress is delivered.

Questions you should ask yourself in assessing the condition of your present mattress: How long have you owned it? Do you wake up in pain? Do you toss and turn at night?

How Long Should Your Mattress Last?

How long should your mattress last? Great question! Over time, every mattress is going to eventually lose its ability to provide the support and comfort you need for a good night’s sleep. This means that everyone will need to dispose of their old mattresses a few times during their lifetime.

While the average life span of a mattress is 10 years, the type and quality of the mattress is going to ultimately determine how long your mattress will last. Lesser quality mattresses tend to last an average of 5 to 7 years.

Eco Terra Latex Mattresses last an average of an impressive 15 years.

Extending the Life of Your Mattress

There are a few ways you can extend the life of your old mattress but it’s not recommended. Old mattresses tend to have sleepers tossing and turning during the night, due to sagging and more. They also have the ability to negatively affect a person’s overall health. Dust mites are unfortunately a common mattress issue that can cause many health problems, especially in allergy and asthma sufferers.

Sleeping on an old mattress can even be stressful, proven by a bed-based study which concluded that sleeping on a new mattress increases sleep qualityandreduces back discomfort.

How to Tell if Your Mattress is Worn Out

When is itreallytime for you to get a new mattress? The National Sleep Foundation tells us that more than 90% of people know that their quality of sleep depends on the quality of the mattress they choose to sleep on. Many tend to delay buying a new mattress due to the cost. The fact that mattresses are costly, makes it easier for people to sleep on their old mattress for much longer than they really should.

So is it time for you to get a new mattress? The answer is yes if:

  • You often wake up tired and/or achy
  • Your mattress is sagging and/or lumpy in areas
  • Your mattress is tearing and/or ripping

Eco Terra Latex Mattresses come with a 15-year warranty and a 90-day money-back guarantee.

How to Dispose of Your Old Mattress

Responsible mattress removal is important. While some people tend to leave their old mattress on the curb or in a dumpster, this is not the proper way to dispose of an old mattress. What if everyone did this? This is why there are rules and laws for disposing of old mattresses, that must be followed in every city. If you’re wondering how to dispose of your old mattress, know that there are a few options for free mattress removal services.

The following are 3 responsible ways you can dispose of your old mattress.

  1. Recycle or Repurpose. You can recycle an old mattress for free. There are some recycling companies that can reuse many parts of the old mattress – wood, steel, cotton, box springs, foam – repurposing these parts into new products. If it’s a foam mattress, you can shred the foam into smaller pieces, and use it to make new pillows. You can also break the mattress down yourself, reusing the parts yourself or donating them to a recycling company. Old mattress disposal ideas are becoming more popular as more and more people continue to jump on the recycling and repurposing bandwagon.
  • Mattress Recycling Company
  • How to Break an Old Mattress Down
  • Pinterest
  • Freecycle
  1. Donate Your Old Mattress. You can also donate your old mattress. Donated mattresses must still be usable, so they can be used again.
  • Salvation Army – They will come to your home to pick up your old mattress for free.
  • Goodwill – Donated mattress must be in good shape.
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Your Local Furniture Store
  • Mattress Disposal Plus
  • Bye-Bye Mattresses
  • Homeless Shelters
  • Craigslist
  1. Throw it away. Sometimes the best choice for disposing of an old mattress is to simply throw it away. You’ll need to check with your city’s local mattress disposal regulations, in order to make sure you dispose of the mattress properly. You should also ask if there’s a mattress removal or disposal fee, so you know what to expect.
  • Dumpster Rental – Mattress removal dumpster fees tend to range between $100 and $250, when renting a dumpster to dispose of an old mattress,
  • Local Landfill – Most landfills or trash dumps will permit you to dispose of your old mattress.
  • Old Mattress Removal Service – Contacting a junk removal service, to take away your old mattress, is easy to do and it can save you time and money.

Responsible mattress removal and disposal options should be a top priority for those who are disposing of their old mattress.

How can i recycle my mattress

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:

Steel

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. About.com, 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. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 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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