Mattress manufacturers advise disposing of a mattress after about ten years. Of course, this varies depending on the need for upgrades, including comfort requirements. Yet, careless mattress disposal could lead to health and environmental hazards and hefty fines.
Responsible ways to dispose of a mattress include recycling, donating, reselling, repurposing, or responsibly throwing it away. The goal should be to avoid your mattress's careless and wasteful disposal.
According to the Guardian 2020 report, the United States disposes of about 18.2 million mattresses yearly. With this, about 50,000 land up in landfills daily. Such requires you to know your ideal way depending on the state of your used mattress and state guidelines.
We have broken down five responsible ways to dispose of a mattress:
If your used mattress is still intact, you can choose to donate it to a local charity organization or business. Thankfully, some even go to the extent of offering free mattress pick-up. On the good side, donating a mattress can make you eligible to state benefits like tax deductions.
However, before donating a used mattress, assess its suitability for donation.
Factors to Consider Before Donating a Used Mattress
Even though every charity organization, business, or shelter has guidelines before accepting donations, some are standard. For instance, it should be common sense to consider people's dignity while handing out used items. Here are factors you should consider before donating a used mattress:
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Do not put your mattress up for donation if infested with molds and bedbugs. If you still want to donate it, find remedies for these infestations and treat them in advance.
Stains and Odors
Do not donate your used mattress if it has visible stains and has a foul smell. Some people are sensitive to odors, so they may find the mattress unusable. Try vacuum-cleaning or spot-cleaning the mattress to eliminate any stains or smells. Baking soda is an effective home remedy for stains and smelly mattresses.
Major Mattress Structural Issues
Your used mattress may not be suitable for donation if broken or has extreme sagging, indentations, or unbalanced huddling.
Rips, Holes, and Mattress Tears
Your mattress could be unsuitable for donation if it has vast rips, holes, or tears. Ensure that the mattress seams are intact beforehand.
Some organizations accepting mattress donations include Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Donation Town, and Catholic Charities. You could also contact local businesses, including homeless shelters and thrift stores if they are willing to take in mattress donations.
Recycling mattresses is the most environmentally-friendly way of disposing of your used mattress. About twenty million mattresses end up in landfills annually, occupying about forty cubic units in space. Such leads to wastefulness, ecological, and environmental hazards, yet over eighty percent of mattresses are recyclable.
Recycled mattresses make items like foam padding, fibers and fabric, wooden frames, and steel springs. You can recycle your mattress if unsuitable for reuse or if you cannot find a place to donate it.
To determine the recyclability of your mattress, do a quick and easy Google search. Check if your area has any mattress recycling services using your zip code search.
There are two main ways of recycling your mattress:
Local Recycling Centers
Search to find out if there are local recycling centers in your area code. Often, these accept used mattresses in whatever state they come.
Some local recycling centers contract companies to collect and recycle mattresses at a small fee, usually up to $40. Luckily, people in California, Connecticut, or Rhode Island people are eligible for free or low-cost mattress pick-up and recycling. The law enforces such through the Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Programs.
However, if you are unlucky in finding a recycling center in your area code, consult the following databases;
Bye Bye Mattress
Run by the Mattress Recycling Council, the Bye Bye Mattress database only caters to EPR-enacted states like California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. You get your mattress picked up and recycled at free to low costs.
The Earth 911 website hosts over a hundred thousand listings across the United States and Canada. It qualifies among the most far-reaching mattress recycling databanks in North America.
You can filter through factors like your zip code and pricing options for pick-up and recycling. Contact them using their hotline at 1-800-CLEANUP if you encounter any difficulties.
Most towns and cities have local municipal offices responsible for recycling services in those areas. Search your zip code to know the recycling services available and their costs. You can also opt to call these offices for specific information on recycling guidelines.
Local Residential Facilities
Most local establishments, businesses, and facilities with a high client turnover rate have a high rate of mattress disposal. Contact them, and they could point you in the right direction for mattress recycling.
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Recycling
You still have viable options if you cannot find a recycling facility close to your area code. For instance, you could disintegrate your mattress into recyclable parts that some recycling centers accept.
Resell Your Used Mattress
Sometimes, you want to dispose of a mattress still in perfect condition, and donating or recycling are not viable options. Such happens when you are changing bed sizes or looking for a mattress ideal for your sleeping position. In this case, put up the sale on both physical and digital marketplaces, and you could be lucky in your resell.
Online marketplaces include the Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, OfferUp, and Nextdoor. Alternatively, reach out to your family and friends and inform them that you are reselling a mattress. Interested parties may be lucky enough to get the mattress at a fraction of a new one.
Repurpose Your Used Mattress
A mattress can serve multiple purposes besides its conventional use. Here are simple and effective ways to repurpose your mattress:
Resell Joining Parts
Break down your mattress and collect the parts and accessories used for joining, such as springs. Contact your local scrap yard and offer to sell the springs to them.
Some mattresses can be ideal for home projects, such as using them as pillows or carpet padding. In addition, you can use old mattresses to firm up a new mattress.
Use the wooden or firmer parts of your used mattress to form a compost pit in your garden—alternatively, such form ideal grounds for mulching.
Create Decorative Pieces
Turn mattress springs and coils into jewelry, key holders, plant holders, and poultry feeders.
Create Beautiful Art Pieces
If you have a creative muscle, turn your old mattress into purposeful artsy items. For instance, cut the spongy parts of the memory foam mattress to form cleaning sponges. You can turn the rest of the mattress into a DIY floor carpet for one of your rooms.
Alternatively, cut out the mattress into shapes and paint them before putting them up on your walls.
Throwing It Away Responsibly
If all the ways above fail to work, consider throwing your mattress away responsibly. If your state or area permits dumping, find out the recommended responsible ways of doing so. For instance, you could wrap it in a plastic mattress bag before throwing it away.
However, if your state disallows throwing the mattress in the trash, there are options to consider. They include using waste disposal services near you or junk-removal services like Load Up or 1-800-Got-Junk. However, unlike Load Up, 1-800-Got-Junk does not accept bedbug-infested mattresses.
Before disposing of a mattress, check your mattress warranty for any free return policies. Thankfully, responsible disposal of a mattress promotes ecological and environmental conservation. However, consider the mattress disposal guidelines in your area code to avoid attracting hefty fines or donating unusable mattresses.
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Feruza is a mom and a blogger. She had a neck pain for 15 years, which made her interested in everything about pillows.
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