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Mattress Disposal: What to Do When it's Time to Throw Out Your Old Mattress

Updated: Oct 19, 2022

When buying a new mattress, what you’re going to do with your old mattress is often an afterthought. The excitement of moving on from the rundown mattress that's causing you all that back pain for a fresh, new bed often overrides the reality that you have to properly dispose of the old one.

While it may seem trivial, in 2015 6.5 million mattresses were sold but only 879,000 were recycled. If you’re concerned about your carbon footprint or reducing waste, this is bad news. Given their size, mattresses can take up a lot of space in landfills. If you are looking to avoid contributing to this problem, you have a few options.

Mattress recycling

One of the best ways to get rid of that pesky old mattress is to recycle it. When it comes to the average mattress, about 90% of the materials can be easily recycled or repurposed. To make sure your mattress is properly recycled, you’ll need to do a bit of work.

You’ll likely have to locate a recycling facility in your area and transport itself. If you can recycle your mattress, you’ll need to make sure to find out the policies of your area's recycling plant and what materials they’re willing to accept. This process will also likely include a fee.

DIY mattress recycling

If you have plenty of free time or you’re looking for a hands-on project, diy recycling may be the right choice for you.

While this option is time consuming, your labor will come with some benefits. Mattresses are full of somewhat valuable materials in terms of recycling. Parts like steel springs, outer foam, polyurethane foam, and your bed frame can all be recycled. Some of those parts, like any metals, can actually be sold as scrap metal for a profit.

Definitely do your own research before getting started on this project, but it may be well-worth your effort.

Repurposing your mattress

If the DIY option sounds appealing to you, another great choice can be repurposing. Mattresses are full of useful materials and even when it’s no longer fit for sleep these parts can serve other purposes just fine.

Parts like foam, padding,and springs can be turned into anything from ornaments to padding for a pet’s bed. There are countless possibilities with these materials. If you’ve had experience with DIY repurposing projects, or you’re looking for a reason to get started, you might be able to achieve more with your mattress than you think.

Renting a dumpster

Due to the size of mattresses, especially once you get into some of the larger sizes, you usually can’t just put them out with your weekly trash. This means you have to get rid of them and you have a few options. You can call your city sanitation service or go with a junk removal service, but if you want to do a massive cleanup, consider renting a dumpster.

You probably won’t want to rent a whole dumpster for a single mattress, odds are if you’re investing in a new mattress you also are considering a new bed. Maybe you’re doing a full-scale redo of your room or home. If this is the case, you’ll be working with a lot of waste. In this instance, dumpster rental can be the most convenient way to dispose of your mattress and all the other furniture and scrap you’re looking to discard.

Donating an old mattress

Maybe you’re not buying a new mattress because your current one is too rundown to use. Maybe you had the money to afford a size upgrade, maybe you moved in with a partner and had to upgrade to a larger size, whatever the reason, you don’t have to throw away a good mattress.

If your mattress is free of stains, burns, bed bugs, mold, or any other major damage odds are you can donate it to someone in need through local charities and organizations. There are also plenty of thrift stores and second-hand furniture stores who will buy your used furniture from you to be sold at a discount.

Responsible mattress disposal

Mattress technology is progressing every year. Plenty of companies are working on environmental-friendly solutions to waste produced by mattresses. However, if you are throwing out a traditional mattress, it’s worth taking the extra time to do it responsibly.

Keeping your mattress from becoming yet another in a landfill or making sure someone in need can get use out of it is easier than ever. The impact may seem small, but educating yourself on proper mattress disposal and making sure you do the most you can has an impact you may not see.

If your tattered old antique mattress is old enough, maybe a museum would want it. Otherwise, when it’s time for a new mattress for that antique bed, any of our mattresses can be made to fit.

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