Discarded mattresses have long been a thorn in the side of garbage collectors; over 300 mattresses are thrown out every day to make their way to landfills. This is a shame, because while old mattresses take up hundreds of thousands of square miles in landfills each year, many of their parts including the metal springs, fabric, and wood can be reused. Recycling a mattress can be as beneficial as recycling the metals found in e-waste.
You can help the environment by recycling your mattress and box springs and it’s not hard at all to do so. Here’s everything you need to know about recycling an old mattress.
Signs That You Need a New Mattress
Mattresses don’t last forever. Ideally, you should plan on replacing your mattress every seven to ten years, depending upon signs of wear and sleep quality. Some signs that you need a new mattress include saggy or lumpy areas, a mattress that turns too soft or too firm, and an increase in allergy symptoms—these can be due to dust mites, mold, and other nasty impurities lurking in your mattress. If sleeping has become really uncomfortable and you’re experiencing aches and pains after waking up, these also indicate you need a new mattress promptly.
How to Recycle Or Repurpose Your Mattress
There are several organizations that will take an old mattress off your hands and break it down themselves which can allow for up to 95% of the materials to be recycled. Your best bet is to do an online search for a company near you that specializes in mattress recycling. A sampling of some around the country include:
DR3: founded in 1999, this California-based mattress recycling center offers two drop off locations in Stockton and Woodland. This is one of the largest mattress recyclers in North America that disassembles mattresses by hand to maximize the amount of materials to be reused.
UTEC Mattress Recycling: UTEC serves customers in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine and was selected by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as a qualified mattress recycling service. UTEC provides roadside pickup for mattresses in some Massachusetts towns.
Chicago Mattress Disposal: for a fee, Chicago Mattress Disposal will come to your residence and carry away your old mattress or piece of furniture. It will be taken to the local recycling facility for breakdown.
Donate It To a Non-Profit Organization
Many non-profits accept used mattresses—just check with them first to make sure your mattress isn’t too old or in too poor condition that it doesn’t qualify for donation. Some organizations that will accept mattresses in decent condition include:
- Your local homeless shelters
- Salvation Army
- Habitat for Humanity
- Furniture Banks
- Domestic violence shelters
Break It Down Yourself
You can also break a mattress down and recycle the parts from it yourself. Of course, this is time consuming and labor intensive, but if you or someone you know can use the salvaged wood, fabric, and metal, it’s worth it.
Don’t Let an Old Mattress Clog a Landfill
These recycling tips will ensure your old mattress doesn’t end up in a landfill. As you only need to replace a mattress after so many years, make the extra effort to dispose of it correctly so it can be broken down and reused.
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