After 7 to 10 years of providing you with comfortable and quality sleep, you probably need to replace your old mattress if you are already noticing some problems on it: the mattress is getting droopy and floppy; the springs are beginning to poke out of the fabric and you are already feeling them into your back; there are indents in the mattress where you have slept; there are molds all over the mattress; and the mattress is not as effective in supporting your body anymore giving you back pain and fatigue after sleep. Having these mattress problems, you probably decide to buy a new one to get quality and comfortable sleep again. Finding brand new mattress stores nowadays is easy. You can order online using your credit card and few hours later a new mattress is delivered to your door. You can visit several physical mattress stores and select the mattress that you can afford and you're done. After buying a new mattress for your bedroom, what will you do with your old mattress? Like most people do, you can put it in front of your house and let the garbage collectors do their job: sending the mattress in the landfill. Wait! Is it a good idea to let your old mattress delivered in the landfill? Is there a better way to get rid of it? Yes there is, through recycling.
Before we talk about mattress recycling. Let us discuss the environmental impact of dumping mattresses in landfills. A typical mattress takes up to 23 cubic feet of landfill space. It will not compress and take decades to decompose. A large percentage of the 20 million mattresses thrown every year in the United States is thrown in landfills. Imagine how much landfill space will be saved if all these mattresses are recycled. Just like office or retail space, landfill space is valuable. Both creating and managing landfills are expensive, burning a huge sum of taxpayers' money. Recycling mattresses helps extend the life of a landfill for more years.
Dumping old mattresses to landfills presents a serious health hazard. Mattresses contain flame retardant chemicals that can leach out into the air, water, and soil. These chemicals cause damage to our immune system and neurobehavioral changes. Mattresses also have volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are known irritants of the respiratory system and other parts of the body. To avoid these health hazards, we should recycle our old mattresses.
Different materials in the mattresses and box springs such as wood, foam, metal, and cotton can be recycled into useful items. The cloth and cotton can be turned into clothes or rugs. The wood can be chopped into wood chips. The metal parts will be reused or recycled for other purposes. The foam will be recycled accordingly.
Different Ways to Recycle Mattress
If your old mattress is in good condition but you just want a brand new one, you might consider donating it to those who are willing to accept it. You can advertise the donation of your mattress online through craiglist.com or freecycle.org. If your planning to donate into charities, take note that there are some laws and regulations that prevent you from donating your old mattresses to charities (e.g. Salvation Army and Habitat for Humanity) for sanitary and hygienic reasons.
Finding recycling centers for old mattresses is easier now than before because the number of mattress recycling centers has been increasing through the years. You can use earth911.com to search the nearest mattress recycling centers in your area. In the site, you can see two search tabs there where you enter the item you will recycle and your city, state, or zip code. The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the recycling centers near you is shown in the search results. These recycling centers can pickup your old mattress or you need to deliver it to them yourself.
You may also be interested with Ecohaul.com, an environment friendly disposal company. For a small fee, they will pickup your unwanted goods including mattresses right in front of your door. They will be the one to deliver the items into recycling facilities but they do not guarantee that each of your items will be recycled.
Hotels, retailers, the military, and universities may use the service of Nationwide Mattress Recycling in disposing their old mattresses and box springs. Like EcoHaul.com, they also collect the mattresses from the mentioned establishments for a small fee. Unfortunately, they don't pickup from residences. Visit their website at nationwidemattressrecycling.com or call them at 877-311-0172.
Don't forget to call your local waste division if they have mattress recycling program. Make sure that they really recycle mattresses and not just send them in landfills.
If you know other ways to recycle old mattresses, please share them in the comment box below.