How To Dispose of a Mattress Responsibly
Mattresses are typically made of different materials. There’s the polyurethane foam, the wood, steel, and the springs. And of all these materials, the foam is usually the easiest to recycle. It’s a lot of extra work to recycle the other materials yourself.
Odds are you’ve seen whole mattresses in weird places, by the alleyway or sidewalk, or just in the corner of someplace that it simply shouldn’t be. You’ve probably silently criticized the perpetrator too. But mattresses are big, bulky, and hard to compact with flammable parts that may pose a risk to dumpsites, so it costs a lot extra to have the landfill handle them. And disposing of it in your regular waste can or leaving it somewhere to rot aren’t environmentally friendly options.
Disposing of your mattress isn’t something you have to do often, especially if you’re not moving a lot. Mattresses are known for their durability and can usually last for many years. However, like most other things, they have diminishing returns. At some point, you simply need to move on.
This article is a comprehensive guide to disposing of your mattress responsibly. However, let’s look at why you might need to dispose of your mattress.
Why You May Need To Dispose of Your Mattress
How Long Have You had It?
It’s generally advisable to replace your mattress every 8 years. For most mattresses, the quality after 8 years would have declined so much that it might not be as comfortable as it should be. Of course, this isn’t necessarily true for all beds. Some beds may have been produced with higher quality materials than the average mattress, which increases the durability. Also, it matters how well you have cared for the mattress, and how often it’s been used – a mattress in the guest room may not be used as much as one in a regular room-and your bedroom atmosphere.
Your Health & Sleep Quality
Your mattress affects the quality of sleep you get. If the quality of your sleep has greatly reduced over time, you have back pains when you wake up, or you can feel the springs every time you lay on it, it may be time to get a new mattress.
Your health condition is also something to consider. You may have a condition that requires you to get a specific type of mattress. People with scoliosis or constant back pain may need a mattress with spine support or some other type of orthopedic mattress.
If you’re moving out to a place that’s already furnished or out of town, you may want to get rid of your mattress. It’s quite easy to dispose of items you won’t need in the future when you’re moving out.
Conditions of the Mattress
Sometimes, your mattress simply needs to go, regardless of how long you’ve had it. Check the mattress for signs of wear and tear. If there are holes, lumps, or protrusions in the bed, it most likely won’t give you as good a sleeping time as it should.
Also, beds with bedbugs, molds, dust mites, or bacteria should be changed. Don’t try to fix a mattress that has bedbugs or that has been blackened with mold or bacteria. It’s time to dispose of it.
What Are Your Mattress Disposal Options?
There are a few ways in which you can dispose of your mattress. Although, the best option depends on the condition of the mattress and your preference.
Donate To Charity
A donation to charity is a great way to dispose of a mattress you don’t need anymore. However, the decision to donate to charity should come after you’ve assessed the condition of the mattress and decided that it’s still good for people to use. It would be unethical to donate a mattress in terrible shape to charity.
Here are a few things to check to ensure your mattress is worthy of donation:
- Stains (if possible, try and get the stains out first; try vacuuming and spot cleaning.
- Wear and Tear
Donating the mattress to charity is an especially great option if you’re moving away and need to dispose of your mattress that’s still in good condition. It’s also a great option if you want a better, more comfortable mattress or you’re replacing it because you need an orthopedic mattress.
A few charities to consider for your mattress include:
- The Salvation Army
- Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI)
- Furniture Bank Association of America (FBA)
- Goodwill Industries
You can also check if your local furniture bank, neighborhood charities, and shelters accept mattress donations.
Find a Suitable Recycling Program
Twenty million mattresses, each an average of 40 cubic feet, are thrown out each year, the bulk of which make it to landfills and constitute a toxic and inflammable waste. However, according to ByeByeMattress, a mattress recycling program, 75% of your mattress is recyclable for consumer and industrial use. A recycling program is a great way to dispose of your mattress without contributing to the already filled landfills. Needless to say, If you live in California, Rhode Island, or Connecticut, where the ByeByeMattress recycling program operates, you can recycle with them. Other recycling programs to consider include Earth911 and your municipal office (check to see if there’s a department that handles trash and recycling).
You may also be able to return your old bed to your manufacturer, who then recycles the bed. This is especially a great avenue to dispose of your old mattress if you buy a new one from the same manufacturer.
DIY Recycling, Upcycling & Repurposing
If you don’t find a recycling facility around you, your Municipal offices can’t help; try DIY Recycling. You can start by breaking up your mattress and separating the different materials. Separate the wood from the springs and the bed (foam padding and fabric).
With the right tools, you can shred the foam paddings, mix them with binders, and repurpose them for carpets, industrial rugs, pet bedding, other cushions, and insulation.
You can dispose of the fabric such that it is recyclable as industrial oil.
Recycle the springs and steel wires for use as metal scraps that can be melted by industries and used to produce new steel. This new steel/metal be further used in construction. You can also repurpose these parts as art if you’re good with your hands. You can roll the springs and steel wires into different abstract objects that can serve as home decor.
The foundational wooden frame can be recycled and repurposed by chipping for use as lawn mulch, compost bin, animal bedding, or fuel. You can have a bonfire someday! You can also get creative with the wood! There are so many home decor ideas for recycled wood.
Sell Or Give It Away
If your mattress is still in good condition, you can sell it. Facebook Marketplace is a platform that allows people to sell many different items. There’s most likely a student or a new resident in your area that will gladly take it off you for some money. You can also use a mobile app like LetGo, or check your local thrift store.
Alternatively, you can reach out to your friends and ask your neighbors if they need an extra bed. Again, you can give it away on Facebook Marketplace by making a post and asking who needs a mattress. If you need to change your mattress, you can pass the old one down to your kids if it’s still in good condition or move it to your guest room if you have one.
Hire a Disposal Professional
Not ready to deal with the stress of recycling and repurposing, or there’s no avenue for these in your locality, and nobody has offered to take it or buy it from you, or perhaps you’re in a hurry to dispose of it, and you still want to do it responsibly? The easiest way to go about this is to hire a professional waste disposal service and let them handle it. Some waste disposal services may offer this service for a price. Just google “Waste Disposal Services Near Me” and find some suggestions. Some companies also provide mattress disposal specifically alongside other waste disposals.
Dimension can help you out here! Not sure how to dispose of your old mattress? Give us a call, and we’ll get to it!
Apart from relieving you of the stress of disposing your mattress yourself, we’ll also help you haul it from your room. Not to worry; it won’t end up in a landfill! We are a team of professionals, and we preach responsibility and compliance in waste disposal. We know how best to handle your mattress and make sure it is recycled.
What’s more? We don’t only handle mattress disposal; we can help with other items you don’t need including furniture, electronics, etc. And unlike most waste disposal/ junk removal companies, we are very affordable.
Give us a call today!