How To Dispose Of A Mattress: Free And Paid Options
These are your options for getting rid of an old mattress, from recycling programs to trash pickup.
So it’s time to say goodbye to your worn out old mattress, but you aren’t sure how to dispose of it. While most of us would rather not add to the nearly 20 million mattresses that pile up in landfills every year, the alternatives may be trickier than they appear.
Recycling or donating mattresses seems like a simple enough endeavor, but the task can actually be quite challenging. Per the New York Times, some charities aren’t allowed to accept mattresses due to concerns over bed bugs or health department regulations, certain recycling programs have become less profitable and therefore less available, and many states don’t have recycling programs at all.
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Plus, since foam fluctuates wildly in its profitability, some of the popular online mattress brands offering 100+ night trial periods don’t always stick to their promise of recycling or donating returned mattresses — a claim that potential customers may view as a good reason for purchasing.
However, you do have options when it’s time to get rid of your old mattress. Depending on the condition of the mattress and where you live, you may be able to donate it, recycle it or even have it picked up. Here’s what we recommend.
Can You Donate A Mattress
If your mattress is still in good condition, consider donating it to charity or giving it away free. That way you can help someone in need, as well as ensuring that it doesn’t end up in landfill.
Organisations such as British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross and Emmaus will resell your mattress and put the proceeds towards a good cause. Several other charities also accept mattress donations, so if there’s a cause you particularly want to support, its worth contacting the charity directly.
As a general rule, these organisations will collect your mattress free of charge, but they might request that you send images first to prove that it’s of acceptable quality. Any organisation accepting a mattress donation will expect it to be fit for use, clean and have a fire label intact.
Another way to ensure your mattress stays out of landfill sites is to use a non-profit initiative such as Freecycle, or your local equivalent group, which can put you in touch with someone in the local area looking for a free second-hand mattress.
Free Residential Mattress Recycling Program
The mattress recycling program has received funding to continue through February 2024
Mother Earth Recycling, our partner, will recycle the mattresses and box springs brought to the Brady 4R Winnipeg Depot and keep them out of the landfill.
- clean, dry mattresses and box springs
There is a limit of six mattresses and box springs, combined, per vehicle.
Whats not accepted
- mattresses and box springs that are:
- bed frames
- sofa bed frames
Mattresses and box springs will not be accepted at the Pacific and Panet 4R Winnipeg Depots during the pilot.
For more information on how mattresses and box springs are recycled, visit Mother Earth Recycling.
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Where Can I Recycle A Mattress
‘Mattresses cant simply be left out for pickup with your regular recycling. Youll often need to find a facility that specializes in mattress recycling, and youll need to transport it there on your own.’ says Farrelly.
To make things easier, the Mattress Recycling Council has a directory of recyclers across the country , so you can find your nearest quickly and easily.
Can I Donate Instead Of Recycling A Mattress
‘Absolutely! As long as your mattress is in good condition, it can be donated,’ says Farrelly.
‘This means your mattress should be free from stains, rips, or tears, and not be broken in any way. Each local charitable organization that accepts mattress donations will have slightly different standards for what they take, so its best to check with them before you drop it off.’
‘If you cant find an organization or charity to donate your mattress to, theres always the option of giving it away to someone directly. You can start by posting from your accounts on social media platforms and asking around to friends, family, and acquaintances in your network,’ says Austin Meadows, sleep product tester, Sleep Foundation .
‘People you may not have even thought of might be in need of a bed, or have use or space for a spare one. You can also use localized social media platforms like , NextDoor , and Freecycle , as well as any ListServe mailing lists you may be on, to advertise your mattress.’
‘Make sure to specify that it is totally free, and also to be clear about exactly what size it is, and what state it is in Provide dimensions and pictures, if possible.’
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Mattress Recycling Service And Junk Removal
Mattress removal service is available in most cities. People get rid of their old mattresses every single day. Because mattress disposal is a common problem, there are actual service companies that will take care of your old mattress for you. A mattress recycling service will charge you, most places charge between $50 and $150 for removal, but they will safely dispose of your mattress and box spring. A mattress removal service is also helpful if you dont have a way to transport your mattress to a recycling center. If you dont have other options, paying to get rid of your mattress is an excellent idea.
How To Dispose Of A Mattress For Free
There are various solutions accessible to those who want to get rid of their mattress for free, but its vital to weigh the benefits and downsides before making a decision.
Lets look at different methods of disposing of a mattress for zero cost, whilst detailing the potential difficulties you may encounter when going down this route.
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Donating Your Old Mattress
The first of these methods of diverting your mattress from landfill is fairly simple donating it. If your mattress is in a usable condition, and free from tears, rips or any other damage which means it can no longer be used, donating your mattress is a great way to recycle it. There are several charity shops which accept gently used mattresses for resale to their customers.
The British Heart Foundation, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army are just a few of the UKs most common charity shops which accept donations of mattresses in a suitable condition. In addition, if you live within a certain radius of one of their shops, they can offer collection of the mattress free of charge. To find out more about which charities accept donations of mattresses, simply visit the website of your local charity shop to learn more.
State’s Policies For Mattress Removal
Be sure to check your state’s mattress removal policies before disposing of your mattress. For example, some states allow you to set your mattress out with the trash, others plan special mattress disposal days, and some require you to take large items like furniture and mattresses to waste management centers.
Additionally, states like California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have mattress recycling programs to prevent mattresses from ending up in a landfill. These programs typically allow residents to call a recycling service to pick up the mattress for free or for a small fee.
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Understand What Mattress Recycling Services Are Available
Mattress recyclers often provide two kinds of services: drop-off recycling and recycling pickups. Drop-off recycling is popular with those who can transport their old mattress to the back of their truck and haul it to the recycling facility. In comparison, recycling pickups allow residents to have removers come to their residence to haul their beds away.
Besides asking yourself if you have the means to drop off your mattress yourself, also consider whether it is worth the drive. Not only that, but hours at recycling facilities may also vary. For example, Canadian Mattress Recycling closes its facility at 4:45 pm every day. If you work past that time or need to travel longer distances, will you encounter hassles like traffic that make you miss the last load times?
Thats why recycling pickups are popular amongst many residents in Metro Vancouver. Canadian Mattress Recyclings pickup service hauls away residents old beds and ensures theyre recycled. Residents do not have to be at home during the pickup, as long as the mattress is easily accessible by the pickup crew.
How Can I Prolong The Life Of My Mattress
Another way to help reduce mattress waste is to use your bed as long as possible. Most beds should last an average of about seven years, but with proper care, you could extend their lifespan. Plus, since mattresses cost a significant amount of money, youre getting more use out of your investment.
Purchase a good mattress that will last! Here is a helpful mattress recycling guide:
One of the best ways to ensure that your mattress stays in good shape is to rotate it regularly. Ideally, you should rotate the item four times a year.
Purchasing a good mattress protector should also help your bed stay in mint condition. The protector will keep the mattress from becoming soiled or dirty due to issues like dust mites, spills, or sweat.
Another helpful tip is to regularly clean your mattress. You should aim to do a deep cleaning at least twice a year, but if youre extra diligent, you could also clean it once a month or every few months.
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Why Recycle Your Mattress
To name a few reasons, when you choose to recycle a mattress, you save the planet from pollution, you choose sustainability, and you are smart about your actions.
Another essential reason to recycle the mattress would be to reduce the carbon footprint. When you choose to recycle a mattress, you could contribute a little less to the 1600 pounds of trash.
What Happens When A Mattress Is Recycled
First mattresses are separated into those that can be reused and those that cannot. For the ones that can be reused they are generally cleaned and donated to charity.
For mattresses that cannot be reused the recycling process starts with stripping them into all the different types of materials. The four main types of materials found in a mattress include foam, timber, steel, and fabrics and wadding. According to Soft Landing when a mattress is recycled up to 75% of the components can be recycled.
The four main components and what they can be used for:
- FOAM the polyurethane foam may be recycled into carpet underlay or used for animal bed padding.
- STEEL SPRINGS the Steel Springs in beds can be recycled as scrap metal or may be used to make products such as Roof Sheeting, vehicle parts, appliances or building materials.
- TIMBER Timber is recycled into kindling, mulch and animal bedding or may be used in manufacturing particleboard.
- FABRIC Fabric can be used in various industries such as industrial oil filters, R& D, or end use products such as acoustic panelling.
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Are There Companies That Will Take My Mattress Away For Me
There are indeed! If youre just looking to get rid of your old mattress, there are many companies that offer to come and pick it up for a fee. However, make sure the one you choose recycles, instead of disposes of, the mattress.
Or, if youre looking to replace your mattress, many companies, such as Dreams, will provide an old mattress removal service when delivering your new mattress. This is exactly what I did with mine.
So How Do You Know If Your Mattress Is In Good Enough Shape To Be Donated
Every charity, organization, and shelter has its own standards for what is acceptable for a donated mattress. However, there are a few standard guidelines:
Odors: Though people can sometimes be noseblind to odors in their own home, a particularly strong odor on a mattress should be noticeable to you. When in doubt, call in a third party, preferably one who you do not live with, to do a sniff test. If you find that the mattress has a slight odor, you can try sprinkling a layer of baking soda on the surface and letting it sit for a few hours. Afterward, vacuum off the baking soda, and then, if possible, let the mattress air outside. If the odor remains, you should reconsider donating the mattress.
In general, figuring out if your mattress is up to donation standards is a matter of common sense.
Make sure the mattress is structurally sound, clean, and free of any infestations or odors. The mattress is not going to help anyone if it cannot be used. Think about whether or not you would want to receive your mattress as a donation. If not, then consider other options.
If you feel that your bed is in good shape for donation, then thats great! You can move on to selecting the right place to donate.
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How Do I Recycle My Old Mattress
As we know well at The Odd Company, finding a new mattress can be pure joy. Whether it represents a new home, is part of a fresh remodel of a bedroom or is simply getting rid of that old mattress that has come to the end of its natural life, a supportive new mattress marks a new beginning: of good quality sleep and a new, well-rested you!
Often purchasing a new mattress can present a problem how to dispose of your existing mattress. It can seem as though there is no good way of getting rid of your old mattress. The common solution of having your mattress collected by your local council, or taking it to the tip, will often mean it will join the 6.5 million mattresses sent to landfill each year in the UK. In todays increasingly eco-conscious climate, many of us no longer feel comfortable with the thought of further contributing to the millions of tonnes of waste that end of up in landfill each year. Of course, this is particularly true when it comes to something as unwieldy and long-lasting as a mattress so its no surprise that people have started looking into ways to recycle or donate their old mattress.
Here at The Odd Company, sustainability is key to our ethos. Thats why we wanted to outline several available options for our clients who wish to donate or find a more sustainable way to dispose of their old mattress including our new mattress recycling scheme.
Some Mattress Brands Will Pick Up
Having a new mattress delivered? In states like California, your retailer is required to take your old mattress back when they deliver a new one to you, as long as it’s in acceptable condition. Be sure to read the fine print when purchasing your mattress so you know what kind of delivery and old mattress removal arrangements you’re paying for.
Mattress recycling programs vary by city and state.
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How Long Does A Pocket Sprung Mattress Last
A good pocket sprung mattress should comfortably last between eight and 10 years. Of the 81 spring mattress weve tested, more than half of them earn four stars or more in our tough durability tests.
After measuring the height, firmness and supportiveness of every mattress we test, we then simulate up to a decade of use by rolling a heavy barrel over the mattress 30,000 times. To do well in our durability tests, a mattress must maintain its supportiveness, firmness and height.
Our pick of the best pocket sprung mattresses will help you pick out a long-lasting option, but you have to do your bit, too. To maximise the life of your pocket sprung mattress, its essential that you follow the manufacturers instructions for rotating or turning the mattress.
Find out how to clean a mattress.
What Is A Mattress Recycling Program
A Mattress Recycling Program is an initiative that allows the public to keep mattresses out of landfills by recycling their old beds into new products or donating them for reuse. Through these programs, mattress manufacturers can reuse the materials in mattresses instead of using new and expensive materials. By participating in these programs, you can help reduce costs for yourself and mattress companies while also helping to save the planet.
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How Do I Know If I Need A New Mattress
Before we talk about mattress recycling programs or other methods of mattress disposal, it’s worth making absolutely sure that you do need to get rid of your old one.
There are a few signs that indicate it might be time for a new mattress:
- You generally wake up feeling stiff or sore.
- Your mattress is more than seven years old.
- You can feel springs or lumpy areas in the mattress.
- It’s difficult to find a comfortable position on your mattress.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, it might be time to start shopping for a new mattress.
Our guide to the best eco-friendly mattresses can help you find a sustainable, non-toxic mattress that meets your comfort requirements and fits your budget.
However, before you get rid of your old one, let’s talk about how to dispose of it responsibly.
How Long Does A Memory Foam Mattress Last
Memory foam mattresses tend to perform well in our durability tests. Of the 52 memory foam, foam and latex mattresses weve reviewed, over 90% of them earned four or five stars in our lifespan test. The remaining mattresses got three stars, which is average or acceptable.
However, in the past we have uncovered memory foam mattresses that failed our durability test completely.
And just because you buy a memory foam mattress, it doesnt mean you dont still need to rotate it regularly, so there’s no less maintenance than with a pocket sprung option.
All in all, we wouldnt recommend buying a memory foam mattress solely for the durability, unless it provides the support and comfort youre looking for as well.
Find out more about how to buy thebest memory foam mattress.
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