We Have a New Mattress–How Do I Recycle The Old Mattress?

my new bedMy husband and I are quite pleased with our brand-new king size mattress.  It’s firm, yet comfy, and because we also indulged in some new down pillows, we are sleeping much better these days.  But what should we do with the old mattress?  I know the mattress delivery company removes it, but I am sure that they just send it to a landfill.  I would like to dispose of our old mattress in a more eco-friendly way.

In looking for green suggestions on how to handle the old mattress, I googled ‘mattress recycle’.  Nothing really useful came of my web search, however.  Health department laws prohibit donating the mattress to the Salvation Army or another charitable organization, and I could not find a local mattress recycling company.  I could try a local freecycle group, but the health department restrictions would probably come into play again.  So we have a nice, new mattress, and we just don’t know how to handle the old mattress in an environmentally-responsible way.

I invite you, dear reader, to weigh in on this one:  what’s the best way to dispose of an old mattress?

Photo from my personal collection.

23 thoughts on “We Have a New Mattress–How Do I Recycle The Old Mattress?”

  1. Furniture Bank of Metro Atlant

    The Furniture Bank of Metro Atlanta will pick up any mattress in any condition for a small fee of $20. If the units are in good condition they get re-purposed to families in need. If they are stained or damaged they will be responsibly deconstructed and recycled. You can find us online and fill out our donation form to get the process started. It is important that we start thinking about the waste stream in a responsible way and take responsibility for our planet. http://www.furniturebankatlanta.org

  2. Matrec limited a mattress recycling company that deal with all mattress that come into the london waste disposal sites they strip them down to the springs and recycle 99% of all mattress they receive.

  3. Hi, could you tell me of any Eco companies in UK who would recycle an old mattress. Do not want it to end up in landfill and it is not good enough to give away. Any suggestions would be appreciated

  4. Seems good idea to give it to someone but then there is the big problem of bed bugs. http://www.best-mattress-4u.com has information on how to prevent and treat bed bugs.

    I think the best way where possible is to ask the company you are buying the mattress from to dispose your old mattress. Most are willing to do this.

  5. There is a company called Ohio Mattress Recovery and Recycling that will come to your house and pick up the old mattress and recycle it for you. Its a great service and we feel so much better knowing that it won't end up in a landfill. We found a new mattress at http://www.mattress-wiz.com/ very pleasant experience there as well. The model we chose is all organic and made from naturally produced latex, so comfy!

  6. The Salvation Army or Red Cross thrift stores will gladly take old matresses off your hands. The Salvation Army will even come pick it up for you if you call them.

  7. Just wanted to let you know that i listed my mattress on craigs list, and within 45 minutes i had 8 people wanting to come pick it up. at least it’s out of my house and not in a dump some where in the ground.

  8. annie miller

    Our local county dump has trailers on site just for mattresses – when the trailer is full all mattresses are then recycled into furniture, etc…..

  9. I’m running into the same problem with recycling mattresses. A long time ago I got so frustrated I actually busted the box spring up, recycled the wood and springs and ripped up the mattress. Boy, was that a lot of work. So, apart from breaking the darn things down or trying to give them away, I’m searching for better ideas.

  10. You can schedule a clean up with Allied Waste (if they are your trash service), and they will take the used mattress and box springs as the one large item for the clean up. (They provide clean ups as a free service 2x per year.) I understand that they recycle the mattress – not as good as re-use, but better than landfill.

  11. I also faced problems with old mattress because I bought new mattress http://www.monstermattress.com. First I put that in store. Then after few days we planned to go out for camping and then an idea came in my mind that y not we use our old mattress for this purpose only. Hence we took that with us and we felt very comfortable throughout our trip. I think that only best possible way of using an old mattress.

  12. Another note: If you reside where folks “dumpster dive” routinely— simply set the mattress down beside the dumpster on a non-rainy day.
    It will quickly disappear!But, please try to place newspapers or a tarp; etc. underneath it to prevent it from being soiled.
    If you lean it against the dumpster, it will absorb the smell of the trash and nobody will want it!

  13. Yes, health restrictions hinder donating any mattress to any charity. But, you will always find some poor soul who needs a free mattress. If you do not want strangers to phone you or to come to your home, simply contact your local fire department or news station whenever someone has lost everything in a fire, a flood, a tornado or hurricane. They always know of families that will gladly accept your old mattress. Secondly, mattresses can be professionally cleaned and recovered. Many motels do that.

  14. I think a used mattress is kind of like getting rid of used tires. I mean, the things just wear out. At one point in time people thought it made sense to just pile the things up out in rural areas someplace until they went up in flames. Now, there are several companies just looking for free used tires to make their recycled goods.

    Hmmm, WALL INSULATION from textile materials. I imagine the springs could somehow be recycled.

    Sounds to me like somebody needs to put together a business out of taking in old mattresses, and doing something constructive with the materials.

    The thing is, everything comes from the earth and then goes right back in some form or another. If your old mattress is destined not to be re-used, I’d say you might as well make it into some kind of art project. That would be prettier to look at anyway, than just another old mattress stacked up on other old mattresses.


  15. I think you could cut it open and pull out all of the metal pieces, such as the springs and stability frame. Take those and use them in your garden as stakes for plants and decorative art. Then, carefully cut up the “fabric” parts into small 2″ squares. It might take awhile, but it will be worth the effort. When you are done, stack all of those squares up into one tall tower. It will be, say, oh, 18 feet high. Using a roll of duct tape, completely cover the tower of fabric. Make sure there are no gaps or openings in the duct tape. You want this tower to be solid. Then, post it on ebay as a “kinder, gentler” atomic bomb. See, it will look like a torpedo, if you’ve taped it up well enough. Someone from the US Airforce will purchase the bomb, put it under one of their bomber planes, and fly it over to Iraq. Then, when they drop it, the people below will try to shelter themselves as they see it drifting to the ground. After it hits the ground, with a bounce, no doubt, they’ll come out and have something to celebrate over! The bomb didn’t explode! A small child, who has no idea what just happened, will then approach the “bomb” and touch it, only to discover that it is solid, yet soft. She/he will pick it up and hand it to another family member. This person will then be in a position of authority in the hood, and will carry the “bomb” around, getting whatever he/she wants, as all who do not realize it is a fake will think it’s a bomb!

  16. I personally would put it in the paper as free for the taking. I’m almost positive there are people in your area who are sleeping on way worse than your landfill mattress.

  17. Hi Sarah-I’ve actually listed a used mattress on Craigslist before and had over 20 responses. I included the bedding and metal bedframe and it felt good to give it to a less fortunate woman who seemed so grateful to get it. And the mattress was a several years old but still in decent shape. You might try that and see what response you get before trying something else…

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