Recycle Your Mattress
So it’s time for you to invest in your sleep and get a new mattress. The question is: what do you do with the old one?
You probably know your mattress should be replaced every decade or so. What may be a little less clear to you is the actual process of disposing of your old mattress.
Can’t I just haul it to the dumpster?
Well, no. It’s not that simple.
For one thing, there are illegal dumping regulations which can lead to you incurring some serious fines. Secondly, it’s TERRIBLE for the environment.
The non-biodegradable chemicals that make up some mattress materials can end up in our drinking water, and plants and wildlife are negatively impacted, too. Not to mention the incredibly lengthy process of mattress decomposition. Dumping your mattress doesn’t just make its existence magically disappear.
And this isn’t a small problem — it’s huge! The U.S. manufactures around 33 million mattresses each year and roughly 20 million of these end up in a landfill or incinerator. Hearing this alone is shocking enough to make you reconsider our wastefulness, but it hits even harder when you learn that up to 85% of the materials that make up a mattress are recyclable.
Your mattress’ life doesn’t have to be over in 10 years. We’re here to let you know there are options other than sending it to the dump.
Donate your mattress
If your mattress is still in good condition, donation should be an option you consider. Donating is a great way to recycle your used products as it’s both a sustainable and good civic practice.
Search for a local charity in your area that’s willing to accept mattress donations. Everyone won’t be open to the idea as some charities don’t permit mattress donations, but it’s worth a shot. Start with your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Salvation Army. If that’s a bust, you could always find a national charity that accepts mattress donations.
Recycle your mattress
If your mattress has outlived its lifespan and isn’t in condition for donation, no judgement. There is still the option to recycle your mattress.
The main materials used to build mattresses include wood, steel, fibers, and foam. These can be extracted from your bed and repurposed into other products. The materials from your bed could be used in mulch, steel appliances, pet beds, clothing, or more!
Don’t know how to go about recycling? Don’t worry. There are places all over the country facilitating this process. It just takes a little research.
Picking out your next mattress
Maybe upgrading your mattress sounds wasteful to you. You’re still getting sleep every night, so why fix what’s not broken, right? Wrong. Switching out your mattress every seven or so years is actually important for your health and well-being.
The good news is you can be more informed about what type of mattress you’re actually getting the next time you buy and feel less wasteful. Look out for organic mattresses made with 100% natural materials when you start looking at mattress reviews. Another thing to keep your eye on is approval from Oeko-Tex or a GREENGUARD Certification from the UL Environment.
Be cautious of junk removal services
One quick note before we leave you to dispose of your old bed. Hiring a junk hauler may sound like a great idea to you, but it’s important to be cautious as some services simply haul your mattress off to the dump. If you hire a service, be sure they’re socially responsible haulers.
Laurie Larson is a freelance writer based in NC. She writes on home and health topics.