Mattress Disposal and Recycling – How to Recycle a Mattress?

With buying a new mattress comes the pertinent question, what do you do with this mattress you’re done with? You can definitely throw it into the dump. But if you’re not entirely comfortable with that, either because you’re concerned about issues like landfills and waste management, or because you have some memories with the mattress that don’t seem fit to be dumped into the garbage truck, there are several alternatives you can try out when it comes to mattress recycling.

Can mattresses be recycled?

Mattresses are pretty durable. They definitely degenerate in terms of the comfort they provide, but with a good disinfection, they’re actually pretty neat to sleep on for many who don’t have much to call their own.

Not all mattresses can or should be recycled. Mattresses out of hospitals are often treated with suspicion since they can have all sorts of germs on them, many of them pathogenic. Mattresses with mould infestations aren’t great either, since mould can occasionally prove to be a persistent pest with a knack of spreading. Another thing to be careful about before recycling a mattress is to be sure there isn’t serious structural damage, like a too deep dent in the centre, edges that are torn or ripping or the like.

mattress recycling

How to Recycle Mattresses?

Mattresses can often last for anything between 15 to 50 years, depending on the make and the quality. If you have a solid 4-5 years estimated on the mattress, it is pretty healthy to recycle it. Here are some ways:

  • Donation:
    Many charitable organisations take in old mattresses just as they take old clothes, toys and phones. But you might not like to carry the mattress to the local good samaritan HQs to find out they don’t. So call them in advance, or write them an email.
  • Recycle the parts:
    If you aren’t sure the entire mattress can be donated, or if there are some good parts in an otherwise soiled and decrepit mattress, you can take it apart to recycle. Inner spring mattresses, for example, can be taken apart to obtain the springs, which you can use in your kids’ science projects, in an art piece you dream up, or even donated separately to a scrap metal recycling facility.

mattress disposal

How to Reuse Mattresses?

Reusing mattresses means re-employing an old, used mattress to a new purpose. Here are some creative ways you can reuse an old mattress.

  • Make a fancy seating arrangement for the lobby by plopping the mattress on the floor, next to the wall. Cover it up with some colorful sheets, put a pillow or two and maybe hang a fancy light close by. Put a wall decal behind, and it should look pretty fine.
  • Practicing Yoga? In the early days, you can feel the need for a softer base which allows you some blood circulation as you practice your vajrasana or padmasana. The lower part of most mattresses is pretty tough, but flexible enough to be comfortable to practice some yoga on. Just make sure you aren’t sucked into the mattress and you should be fine.
  • If your child has the habit of rolling out of bed at night, a clean old mattress can be put at the foot of the bed so they don’t hurt themselves. The fall will probably wake them up, but they won’t be too shaken to not fall asleep soon after.

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