We know you have spent most of your nights on it. We know it has been in your life for years. But now, that saggy, dirty, old mattress needs to go. You have a mattress in a box on its way to you and you want to make space for the new, improved sleeping experience. Do you just toss it on the street? Is that really living your best life? No. You can recycle your mattress and we break down all you need to know.
Why do you need to recycle mattresses?
An approximate of 50,000 mattresses hit the landfill every day where an average mattress takes up to 40 cubic feet. That’s a lot of mattresses and a lot of consumed space. In the landfills, mattresses become home to rodents, bacteria, and insects which can harm public health. They are also expensive to transport and have high disposal costs. To overcome this ever-piling problem, mattress owners are encouraged to – resell, recycle or donate their mattresses. In addition, it is a better decision for the planet.
Can you recycle a mattress?
A mattress is almost entirely made from recyclable materials, to be precise about 80% of it, so it’s a shame it ends up in the landfills instead. The coils, foam, fabric, and wood are all recyclable. The coils are usually made from recycled steel and can be recycled into new steel. The foam can be recycled into padding for cushions, seats and so on. The fabric can be recycled for industrial filters and the wood can be used as a fuel source. There is so much that can be done with mattresses that it just takes educating people on the benefits of recycling to get them on the bandwagon.
(Img Courtesy: Nectarsleep)
With recycling programs, an old, unwanted mattress can serve to make new products. You also create less reliance on landfills by reducing the piling up of waste. Many mattresses are also dumped illegally and through widespread recycling programs, this can be contained. Furthermore, with more people recycling their mattresses, it leads to an increase in recycling jobs that is a boon for the economy.
Statewide programs – Many states have their own recycling programs, specifically targeting mattresses. For example, California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have established laws that encourage recycling. Bye Bye Mattress is one such recycling program under the guidance of the Mattress Recycling Council. Earth911 is another program that allows you to find the nearest recycling centers accepting household goods. Furniture giant, Ikea, has also stepped up its mattress recycling initiative through its People and Planet Positive Sustainability strategy.
With large organizations and policies spearheading mattress recycling initiatives, the hope for a sustainable and low-waste future gets clearer. To recycle your mattress, find out the program operating at your state and find the closest center where you can drop off your mattress. You will probably incur a cost of $10-$20. However, most organizations do not accept mattresses that are stained or infested with bed bugs. A quick read up on the program’s guidelines can ensure you comply with the standards they need.
What are your other options?
If your mattress is in good enough condition, you can also consider donating your mattress to the needy. Many mattress manufacturers have also begun taking a more active role in the mattress disposal process. For example, with a purchase of a Nectar mattress, they provide an exclusive white glove delivery service that includes removal of your old mattress from whatever room it is in. The mattresses are then recycled or donated to those who can derive the most value from it. Nectar works with Mattress Recycling Council to ensure that they comply with the state laws. The way you go about it is to schedule a pick-up and let them do the rest. These initiatives are a great way to ensure that your mattress doesn’t contribute to the increasing pileup of waste in landfills.
Other organizations you can reach out to are Goodwill, Furniture Bank Association of America and Habitat for Humanity. Goodwill, on their site, mentions the donations must be “free of rips and stains so that they can provide the most use to people who need them.” Habitat for Humanity, in their quest to build housing for all, also provides them with donates furniture including mattresses.
Donation Town is an organization that gives you a complete download on the process of mattress donation. It walks you through preparing your mattress for donation and the list of charities close to you that accepts mattresses. This free service will also help you find a charity that would come pick up the mattress from your doorstep. How convenient is that?
In case you want to donate it yourself, you can create a post on craigslist and list your mattress on for free. This way you can ensure your mattress finds its way to those in need, all by yourself. Online platforms like these can ensure you can interact and meet potential buyers, where you can ensure the mattress goes to someone who really needs it.
(Img Courtesy: Nectarsleep)
If your mattress is in pretty good condition and you could use the money, you can always list it on the many reselling platforms, including Facebook, for a fair price. However, it is important to add in all the information as reliable as you can, including a few good pictures that capture it as is. In this way, you are giving your mattress to someone who probably can’t afford a brand-new mattress and you are making some money along the way.
Your mattress can go a long way
Either through donation or by recycling, your mattress can continue to help people and the planet. Unfortunately, the world isn’t fair and there are a lot of people on the streets, who can’t afford a mattress. Your donation can be a real blessing for these people. By breaking it down for parts, recycling can help the planet in more ways than one. Getting rid of your mattress doesn’t mean dumping it on the street anymore. Your decision can make a difference.