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Last Updated May 18, 2023
Mattresses are a necessary part of our lives as humans, but just like any other household item, they wear out over time and must be disposed of properly. Most people don't know what to do with their old mattresses, leading to environmental pollution or even accidents. In this blog post, we'll guide you on how to dispose of your mattress the right way.
When you have an old mattress, it might seem easy enough to toss it in the trash bin and forget about it. However, when mattresses are treated poorly, they can cause significant harm to the environment, wildlife, or humans. In the landfill, the mattress takes up a lot of space while decomposing, and some of the materials that mattresses are made from are known to release toxic fumes. This makes it incredibly important to have a plan in place for the correct disposal of your mattress.
Knowing when to dispose of your mattress is key to preventing discomfort and getting the most from your mattress. If your mattress is causing you pain, sagging, or lumps, or you wake up feeling uncomfortable, it might be time to buy a new one. You don't want to hold onto an old mattress that isn't providing the adequate support your body deserves.
Apart from comfort, disposing of a mattress is necessary if you have bed bugs, as the pests can quickly multiply and infest the whole house if left unchecked.
When it comes to frequency, experts recommend replacing a mattress every eight years or when there's visible wear and tear. However, the frequency of replacement will depend on the user, as different people have distinct sleeping conditions.
Before disposal, take note of these pointers and weigh your options:
All mattresses come with a warranty period within which the brand promises to replace them in the event of any loss of structural integrity. The warranty period ideally ranges between 5 - 20 years. However, it can also be less than the time frame since the clauses differ across brands.
Check if the brand offers removal services because many brands offer that. Even if your warranty is over, the brand may send their staff to pick up the mattress.
Suppose you live in states like California, Rhode Island, or Connecticut. In that case, you cannot leave a mattress out in the trash or casually take it to dump in landfills. These states have particular mattress removal policies and environmental protection laws that prohibit throwing away mattresses casually.
Instead, these states have mattress disposal days where either service staff will come to your doorstep to pick up the trash, or you have to pack the mattress in a plastic mattress bag and take it to nearby waste management centers.
Let's go through some of the common ways you can dispose of an old mattress:
One of the best things you can do with your old mattress is to donate it. A gently used bed can be a blessing to a person who cannot afford to purchase one.
If your mattress is in good condition, look for local charities or local businesses that accept mattress donations. A few options are given below:
Habitat for Humanity runs a chain of thrift stores called ReStore, aimed at providing materials for affordable housing and building projects. They accept mattress donations, and some stores may even facilitate curbside pickup.
The 162 Goodwill stores located across US and Canada accept mattresses in good condition. They resell donated items at thrift prices and help rehabilitate unemployed, homeless, and disabled people. An online search will reveal whether a Goodwill store near you is willing to accept used mattresses.
Some Salvation Army centers accept used mattresses, which they use to rehabilitate homeless people or furnish affordable residential housing. All donations to Salvation Army are tax deductible, so make sure you reach out to a SA center near you and make arrangements to donate a clean and good quality mattress.
The FBA contributes to affordable housing by selling household items and furniture at low cost or for free. They also accept old donated mattresses if they are in good shape that doesn't compromise on comfort and hygiene. FBA offers mattress pick for donations within a 20-mile radius of their center.
Some catholic charities run homeless shelters and contribute to affordable housing projects. They will benefit greatly from your donated mattress.
It is important to note that certain organizations have very stringent criteria when it comes to accepting mattresses. Therefore, it is crucial to verify that your old mattress meets all of their requirements before considering donating it. If your mattress fails to meet any of these criteria, it is advisable not to donate it:
Mattress recycling centers exist specifically to handle bed disposal in a responsible fashion. Look up the locations of the local mattress recycling centers near you or contact the local municipal bodies, as many cities have started to organize these facilities.
The local municipality deals with trash disposal regularly. So they will know of some mattress recycling centers in your locality. If you cannot find a center through a web search, dial them and ask them to point you toward a recycling facility near you.
You can also take the help of NGO organizations that deal with housing, soup kitchens, etc., to gather information about recycling centers. These organizations interact with people who need help in one way or another so that they may point you in the direction of a proper recycling resource.
Other than that, you can also reach out to local residential recycling facilities or use websites like Earth 911 and Bye Bye Mattress to locate mattress recycling centers near you.
Earth 911 is an environmental services company that provides information and resources for people looking to live a more sustainable lifestyle. They offer a comprehensive recycling directory that helps consumers find recycling centers for various materials, including mattresses.
The Earth 911 recycling directory is easy to use and allows users to search for recycling centers in their area by entering their zip code. Once a user enters their zip code, they are presented with a list of recycling centers that accept mattresses. The directory also includes information on what types of mattresses are accepted, whether there are any fees, and any other important details.
Bye Bye Mattress is a mattress recycling program that was created by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) in response to the growing problem of mattress waste.
Being one of the well-known mattress recycling programs in the USA, Bye Bye Mattress is widely accessible to California residents through no-cost mattress disposal opportunities. Nearly all residents of the state can reach a collection site or event within 15 miles. There are over 220 permanent drop-off locations and 100 annual collection events available. Moreover, several Californians can take advantage of the program via retailer take-back options and municipal curbside pickup services. Additionally, more than 380 public and private entities, including hotels, universities, and mattress retailers, participate in the Commercial Volume Program.
Once the old mattress is dropped off at a participating recycling center, the materials are broken down and recycled into new products. The steel springs are melted down and used to make new steel products, while the foam and fabric are used to make new products like carpet padding and insulation.
If you are creative and can make things out of old material, you might consider transforming your old mattress into something useful. Some of the options include:
If you have box springs, you can break off the wooden part and grind it. The powder makes for excellent mulch during gardening. If your mattress comes fitted with slats, you can put the wooden bars together and create a bin from them.
You can strip the uppermost padding layer, and with the help of a few more layers of decorative cloth, you can create your own DIY carpet or rug. You can try using the wood from box springs and create wooden installations or signboards for a neighborhood project. The coils and springs can also be used to create art if you are into metal artwork.
You can always take your box springs to the local scrapyard or sell the springs at a metal shop and get a fair deal.
The fabric layer in your mattress can also be repurposed. The foam, cotton, or wool layer in your mattress can be used to repurpose worn-out seat padding; they can be turned into carpets, used for insulation, or turned into comfy pillows and cushions.
Instead of selling off the coils and springs inside the mattress, you can melt them and turn them into shapes that give off a modern artsy vibe.
Latex or memory foam mattress will work exceptionally well as a cozy pet bed. You can cut off a portion of the old mattress and remodel it as a pet bed. But be sure your mattress does not have any bed bugs, infestation, or mold.
Some people may prefer to hire a professional mattress disposal company to take care of the disposal of old mattresses. While this option requires a fee, it can offer several benefits.
A mattress disposal service can offer pickup and removal, which can save time and frustration for those involved. Professional services may also have added benefits, such as disinfecting and vacuuming mattresses prior to disposal.
Before hiring a disposal service, make sure to research and compare the different options available in your area. Look for reputable companies with good customer reviews, the appropriate licenses and insurance, and professional and courteous staff.
This business will pick up the old mattress from your home and dump it in a proper place. Dial the number 1-800-Got Junk and save yourself time and effort to get rid of your mattress. You have to pay their service fee, and their team will make a pickup from home. However, they do not accept mattresses that are buggy and infested.
Load Up is another junk removal service that can help you discard the mattress. They are active in all 50 US states and charge a service fee for pickup. They accept all forms of rejected mattresses, even the ones infested with bed bugs, pests, and molds.
Various private businesses offer waste disposal services and are ready to haul your old mattress out of the house, charging a service fee. A quick Google search will reveal all such businesses near you. Get a few service charge quotes before deciding on a service provider.
If you have a mattress that's still in good condition, selling it is worth considering. It's a better alternative than discarding it, particularly if it's a high-quality one that someone else could benefit from. Various online marketplaces like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, and eBay can be potential options for selling your mattress.
When you put up your mattress for sale, ensure that you provide precise descriptions and clear images of it. It's also essential to be honest about any problems or damages the mattress has.
Regardless of the method of disposal, it is important to take the right steps to minimize any negative impact on the environment. While finding a new home for your mattress can be challenging, donating it, recycling it, or turning it into a DIY project can be incredibly rewarding. On the other hand, throwing it away should be done through legal and responsible waste disposal methods.
Always make sure to choose the right option for you and remember to follow environmental best practices. By making smart decisions about old mattress disposal, you can make the world a cleaner, greener place.
Ideally, you should replace a mattress every 7 to 10 years, give or take. But it's best to look for signs and signals that a mattress is giving up.
If your mattress is in good shape, you can give it away to anyone in your network who needs it. Or you can donate it to a service near you; it will not cost you anything. Recycling and repurposing it for household work is a nifty way to repurpose the mattress.
It takes somewhere around 120 years for a twin-size mattress to decompose in a landfill. A bigger mattress will take more time.
You are littering the environment by leaving a mattress out in the open, and that is unethical in itself. But some states are governed by ordinances that are eligible to fine you for littering a public place. So, if you have no other option, check the laws in your state and then take the next step. If laws permit, put the mattress in a mattress bag and dispose of it.
There are several signs that may indicate it's time to replace your mattress:
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Disclaimer: What is said in this article has been referenced from multiple sources and is intended only for educational and informational purposes. Please note that no content in this article is a substitute for professional advice from a qualified doctor or healthcare provider. Always consult an experienced doctor with any concerns you may have regarding a health condition or treatment, and never disregard any medical suggestions or delay in seeking treatment because of something you read here.