What To Do With These Old Mattresses?!
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
(Please click on red links & note magenta)
Have you ever wondered about where those old mattresses go once they are no longer in use? Did you know that about 90% of the average mattress can be recovered for recycling?
Did you know that there is a Mattress Recycling Meetup at The Mustard Seed on Saturday, February 13, 2016, at 12 Mustard Seed Ln., Orlando FL, 407-875-2040, at 9:00 am where you can help and learn how to recycle and process old mattresses and box springs?
In USA alone, 15-20 million mattresses are disposed of every year and can take up as much as 40 cubic feet in a landfill. So, when it comes to the time for you or me to replace our old mattresses, let’s see what we can do to recycle our old ones:
- Check if the company we purchased our mattresses from has a take-back program in place. If not, then go to 2. below
- Click on recycling center locator to track down recycling centers near us. Even though mattress recycling centers are limited in USA, but the number of programs is growing. If we enter “mattresses” to the right of the Search for box, “Orlando, FL” or “Windermere, FL” to the right of Near box, and “25 miles” to the right of Within box, we would get: a. The Mustard Seed of Central Florida, Inc: 12 Mustard Seed Ln., Orlando, FL, 32810, 407-875-2040 b. Seminole County Landfill and Recycling Center: 1930 E. Osceola Rd., Geneva, FL 32732, 407-665-2260. Any recycler or reuse agency in our community that accepts mattresses should also accept our used box spring, the foam used in memory foam, latex foam, and Tempur-Pedic mattresses. But be sure to ask/call first before lugging our mattress down to the recycling center.
- Check out the Freecycle Network, where there are now 9 million members in more than 110 countries, encouraging people to participate in a culture of giving and sharing. Here in Florida, we have quite a few Freecycling centers. So we may be able to utilize these centers to give and share (mattresses or any other items). In May of 2003, Deron Beal of Tucson, AZ wanted to donate a bed but couldn’t find any local organizations to accept one. But Deron wanted to create a way for people to give away items that still had value and not end up in landfill. So he gathered a small group of friends interested in sharing things they no longer needed. That initial group has grown into the current 9 million members…32,000 items are gifted, reused, and kept out of the landfill (equivalent to over one thousand tons) each day because of the existence of Freecycle Network. Impressive!
- If we simply cannot find a recycler near us that will accept our old mattress, we can also take it apart and recycle the component materials ourselves (some parts such as the steel coils can make us money at the recycling center). Remember that 90% of the material in an average mattress can be recycled. After a mattress or box spring is disassembled, the steel cage, wood frame, and cotton outer layer of the box spring, foam used in memory foam, latex foam and Tempur-Pedic mattresses are completely recyclable. It’s just a matter of finding a recycler that accepts them. Most recyclers that accept mattresses would also accept foam material. But always make sure to call ahead before lugging the mattress down to the recycling center. The metal component of the coil is definitely valuable and can be repurposed for other uses.
- Since more than 50,000 mattresses end up in U.S. landfills every day if we don’t make effort in recycling-reusing them. Let’s encourage our local/regional/state/ province/ country to also establish programs such as these: a. Bye Bye Mattress is a mattress recycling program operating in Connecticut and due to launch in California and Rhode Island. Established by law and operated by the nonprofit Mattress Recycling Council, the program uses a recycling fee collected on each mattress and box spring sold to make recycling easier in our communities. Whether a city picks up your discarded mattress, a retailer takes it back with your new purchase or you drop it off, the Bye Bye Mattress program diverts your old product from waste to recycling. Now, our landfills and incinerators will be less crowded as old mattresses are recycled into new, useful products. b. Mattress Recycling Council was formed by the industry to operate recycling programs in states which have enacted mattress recycling laws. Connecticut’s program launched in May 2015, and programs in California and Rhode Island are expected to begin in 2016. Each state’s program is funded by a recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold. The fees pay for the transportation and recycling of the mattresses.
- Allow me to share a video demonstrating how an old mattress may be recycled, below:
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