So, you’ve finally given in and put your old mattress to rest. Your back says “thank you,” by the way. But when your new bed arrives, what are your plans for the old one? Please don’t say landfill. This is NOT an option for two reasons. One, mattresses are bulky which means they take up too much space (around 23 cubic feet) and are difficult to compact. Two, a lot of mattresses contain flame retardants that are toxic which can contaminate the environment (i.e. groundwater). Besides, there’s still life in your old bed. You just need to find its new purpose in your life (or someone else’s). To help you out, we’ve compiled some tips on recycling old mattresses.
#1: Give it away
While your old bed may no longer suit your needs, it can still be of service to others in need of somewhere to lie down. Inquire with nonprofits in your area such as Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, and The Salvation Army as well as homeless shelters and churches to see if they will be able to make use of your old mattress. Their policy regarding secondhand mattresses will depend on the regulations of the local health department, so this is not always a sure thing. If this is a bust, you can give it away through Craigslist or FreeCycle.org.
#2: Eco-friendly disposal
You don’t have to dump your bed in a landfill to dispose of it. There are companies and organizations willing to get your old mattress and recycle it. You can first check with the mattress company where you bought your new bed. Some companies are willing to take your old mattress away, but you’ll need to make sure that the mattress will be recycled, not dumped in a landfill. You can also inquire with your local government. Some municipalities offer recycling programs while others can direct you to a recycler in your area. You can also use Earth911.com to find a program near you.
#3: Repurpose your mattress
There’s a lot you can do with an old mattress. If it’s made of foam, you can use it to line the walls of your kid’s playroom, making it a safer place. Innerspring mattresses can be used as a sort of trampoline, and it’s a much safer alternative than the kids jumping on their own beds. You can find other ideas for upcycling your mattress on Pinterest.
Given that there’s a lot of effort in the proper disposal of an old mattress, you need to make sure that the new one you’re purchasing is truly the bed of your dreams. This way, you not only save money and effort, but you also help save the Earth too.