You probably already know that recycling is good for the planet. Most municipalities offer curbside recycling programs for your aluminum cans, glass bottles and paper. But when it comes to larger items, like say, your old mattress, finding a good alternative to the landfill can be tricky. Apparently even finding a way to get a mattress into the landfill is tricky, given the number you can see discarded in alleyways and vacant lots. But mattress disposal is a really important topic. According to Earth 911, “roughly 80 percent of materials in the average mattress can be easily recycled, yet each year in the U.S., we throw out 15 to 20 million mattresses, and they take up 40 cubic feet of space in a landfill.” Yikes! So what is a earth-loving reduce-reuse-recycle-r to do?
Find an Official Mattress Recycling Program
Your area might have an official mattress recycling program that makes things really easy. You may get charged a fee, but most programs will offer a drop off site and/or pick up services. Unfortunately, there is not a comprehensive database for these programs, so we suggest using Google to search for “mattress recycling (your town)”.
If you live in California, Connecticut or Massachusetts, check out the Mattress Recycling Council, which has published this informative infographic.
Dismantle for Recycling
If you are hardcore in your wish to prevent your mattress from occupying 40 cubic feet in the landfill, consider dismantling your mattress on your own for recycling. Coil springs can be taken to a metal scrapyard where they may even pay you for them. Textiles are often recycled and made into new products. So rip off that cover and a simple Google search will let you know where to drop it off.
Due to concerns about hygiene, not all municipalities allow mattresses to be donated for re-use. However, this does vary from area to area, so we suggest contacting your local Salvation Army, St. Vincent De Paul or Goodwill to ask what their policies are. They may be able to point you to a local resource as they likely get this question often. Also be sure to ring up area homeless shelters as they may be able to take your mattress and any bedroom furniture off your hands.
As with dismantling your mattress for self-recycling, you can dismantle your mattress to use the insides for different purposes. Just think of how many dog beds could be made from your queen size foam mattress! Offer these on Craigslist and now you’ve recouped some of your cost.
It may not be as easy as tossing your glass bottle in the recycling bin, but it is worth putting some effort into figuring out the most environmentally friendly was to dispose of your mattress. You’ll sleep better knowing you’ve done your tiny part for the planet.