Follow long in this guide to get a better understanding of when and why and how to recycle a mattress.
Sleep is vital to our existence and the mattresses we sleep on can have an enormous impact on our daily lives. When it’s time to upgrade your old pillow-top and boxspring, you should also think about where the old mattress will go.
Should I Buy a New Mattress?
The quality and quantity of sleep we receive each night has a direct effect on our mood, productivity and energy levels each day.
If you don’t sleep well, chances are that you won’t be able to focus at the level or length of time required of you the next day. You may be grumpy and quick to annoy. Lack of sleep can even have an effect on your safety. Some study’s have shown that driving a car while sleepy is as bad or worse than being intoxicated with alcohol!
Upgrading your mattress is not a decision to take lightly…
You may not be ready to pull the trigger today on that new $2000 memory-foam monster you saw on an infomercial last night, but when you’ve finally decided to upgrade, there’s one more really important decision you need to make:
Should I Throw My Old Mattress Away or Recycle It?
It seems obvious that recycling any old object is better than throwing it in the garage, but do you how to recycle a mattress?
The internal makeup of a mattress really depends on what type of mattress it is. Traditional mattresses are made up of a wooden frame with steel coils, or springs. The outer layer is usually foam and some type of fabric.
The steel in the mattress springs can be recycled easily as steel is the most recycled material on the planet by weight. The springs from a mattress can be melted down and turned into virtually anything including building supports, cars, trains, appliances, fences and shipping containers.
The outer layer of fabric can be recycled in many cases to make air filters for machinery and tools, and the foam portion may be made into carpet padding.
Any wood frame pieces are sometimes turned into mulch for various uses, but can be thrown away when processed by some centers.
The number of mattress recycling facilities in North America is currently around 50 and growing. Click here to see if you have a recycling facility near your home.
Most junk removal experts, like us here at Utah Valley Junk Removal, will readily be able to assist you in discarding your old mattresses and boxsprings in the most ecologically-friendly way. Simply call up your local junk removal company and let them know that you have an old mattress and/or box spring, and that you’d like to have them pick it up and recycle it, not throw it away at the dump. The junk removal company should be able to give you a quick quote over the phone based on the pick ups address, size and number of mattresses or box springs, and the number of stairs between the driveway and the mattress(es).
Of course, if you have a vehicle big enough to accommodate your old mattress, you could take it to a recycling center yourself and save a little money. However, I feel the need to remind you to please not rope a king sized mattress to the roof of your Fiesta. It’s just not safe.
What To Do If There Is No Recycling Centers Near You
Mattress recycling centers can be very helpful, but what happens if you don’t live near one?
There are several other things you may be able to do with an old mattress, even if the recycling center is too far away.
When a dedicated recycling center is too far from home, you may also want to check the local municipal trash service website or the city/county website. Some city’s will host a mattress recycling drop-off for citizens. These events can be annual though and may not correspond with the exact date you need your old stuff removed by. Some of these festivals may also charge a nominal fee, while others may be free.
If you’re having a new mattress set delivered to your home, you may be offered with the option to have the mattress delivery company take the old bed with them. Some will charge for this service, and not all of the delivery services can offer recycling options, so your mattress may still wind up in a landfill. When you order your new mattress be sure to ask if the delivery company can recycle your old mattress when they come.
Finally, if none of the options above are available to you, there are a few last possibilities that you may want to try:
Resell it. Although this option may not work for everyone, you may be able to resell your mattress if it’s not too old or too worn. Sites like Craigslist can be an excellent place to find a new home for your gently used mattress. There are plenty of people out in the world looking for a good deal.
Repurpose it. This is a great option for people living in rural areas with no access to recycling centers. If you have the time and space to disassemble a mattress, you can use the internal parts for many things. The outer fabric makes great shop rags or cleaning towels. The foam portions can be used for dog beds and chair refurbishing. Steel springs can be used in endless ways if you have some metal-working know-how. Just make sure to put on your safety glasses and be careful!
Although specifics vary depending on the facility, many places will gladly take gently used mattresses, including local homeless shelters, domestic abuse shelters and non-profit donation based stores like The Salvation Army. A great tool to find local places near you is Donation Town. If you try this option, not only will you keep your old mattress out of the landfill, but you’ll be helping out your community and those living in it.