Mattress Disposal

Mattress-Dispoal-with-a-smileIt’s a great feeling to know that your new mattress will be arriving soon. You can look forward to a delicious night’s sleep, maybe for the first time in years. But what about your old, loyal mattress? It’s not as easy to get rid of a mattress as a bag of rubbish. A lot of municipalities will not allow a mattress to be picked up as part of their collection service.

In some states, non-online mattress retailers are required to offer their customers a free option of picking up the old mattress at the time of delivery. They can refuse to pick up a mattress if there is a health risk. When you’re ordering your new mattress, make sure you ask about having the old one picked up.

Recycling your mattress

Between 80 and 90% of your mattress can be effectively recycled, so why wouldn’t you? Mattresses are taking up an increasing proportion of landfill, and take at least a decade to break down. The springs can be recycled as metal scrap, the foam can go into carpet underlay, and cotton can be recycled for textile applications.

There may be a charge for pick-up by your local recycling center. If you want to dispose of your mattress for free, you will probably need to transport the mattress to the recycling center yourself. Keep in mind that the disassembling of the mattresses needs to be done by hand, and recycling centers can charge a small fee just to break even. To find your closest recycler, click here and scroll down to the map and address listing.

Recycling if you live in California, Connecticut or Rhode Island

The Mattress Recycling Council is a non-profit group created by the International Sleep Products Association. Their mission is to create and apply mattress recycling programs for those states that have enacted mattress recycling laws.

So far, California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island have enacted laws regarding mattress recycling. Click your state to find your nearest collection point.

There will be a fee for recycling. This fee funds the recycling program. It is set by the state and not the recycler. Click your state to find out about fees: California, Connecticut, Rhode Island,

Mattress collection for charity

A lot of thrift stores choose not to sell used mattresses. Some charities will pick up mattresses for recycling. St Vincent de Paul has mattress drop-off locations in California and Oregon. Check with your local charities and thrift stores as to whether they accept used mattresses.

How to dispose of a mattress with bedbugs

You don’t want your bedbug problem to become someone else’s problem. The best option is to spray paint the mattress with the words “bedbug infested.” You can also rip the fabric to discourage people from repurposing it.
Wrap the mattress in a few layers of heavy plastic, or you could purchase a mattress bag specifically for infested mattresses. Then spray paint or attach a sign on the outside of the plastic or bag as a warning.

Options for disposal include:

• Call your local municipality and explain the situation and the actions you have taken with your mattress. They may have arrangements for mattress pick-up. If so, put the wrapped and defaced mattress out just before the pick-up time to decrease the chance of someone picking it up for reuse.

• Your municipality may advise you to contact the local dump. If you drop the mattress off at the dump, visit the carwash on the way home.

• Call your local recycling center and ask if they accept infested mattresses.

• Call a junk removal company.

• If it is safe and legal to do so, you could burn your mattress. Wrap it in plastic first before you move it out of your house so you don’t spread the infestation on the way out. Of course, remove the plastic before burning the mattress and its inhabitants. Keep a garden hose handy.

When you decide you need a new mattress, or you are told by a pest controller that you need a new one, take a moment to plan how you will dispose of your old mattress.

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