Wondering about your mattress recycling options?
Sooner or later your old mattress will start to show signs it is finally ready to give up the ghost. A permanent sag in the middle, lumps, bumps and springs that don’t bounce back are all indicators that the time has come for a new mattress. While waiting for that fabulous mattress you’ve ordered, the question becomes what to do with the old one. Dumping the mattress is not an option. Fortunately, there are several recycling options available.
Mattress Recycling at Furniture Stores
Most furniture stores and mattress outlets offer to take away the old bed when they deliver the new mattress. But not all stores take them to recycling centers. More often, the old mattress ends up in a landfill. Ask the store what is their policy on mattress recycling before you take them up on their offer to remove the old furniture.
Recycling Centers: Will They Take A Mattress
The most resourceful recycling centers reuse up to 90 percent of an old mattress. The mattress is thoroughly broken down to make the most of all materials. The cloth is used to make clothes, the wood is shredded into chips and the springs and foam are recycled for various projects. One company in California that specializes in recycling has an entire facility dedicated to dismantling mattresses down to the bare essence. The company charges $48 to $88, depending on the size of the old mattress, to pick up an old mattress.
A rebuilt mattress is made of recycled materials on the inside. Rebuilt could also refer to a rebuilt frame added to an old mattress. Laws in most states require that stores clearly disclose if a mattress is rebuilt, since they are usually made of a mixture of both new and used materials.
Donate A Mattress
Donation is another mattress recycling option. In many communities Health Department ordinances are very strict so it is best to check to see if your donation will be accepted. Even in areas where donations are allowed, some charities will only accept a new mattress because of health concerns. Used mattresses are a habitat for dust mites, mold and mildew as well as other bugs. The surface of the mattress can contain matter that is unhealthy to inhale such as urine, saliva and perspiration. Older mattresses can also contain odors which can cause problems for people with allergies or other respiratory problems.
Used mattresses can be properly sanitized using a strict procedure requiring either heat or chemicals. Mattress recycling centers that use these cleaning techniques must disclose to customers details of the cleaning process. A furniture bank in Atlanta, GA accepts used mattresses that are free from bugs, tears or heavy stains. The mattresses are sterilized in their warehouse and donated to needy families. People who do choose to buy a used mattress rather than a new one cover it in plastic to stop soil or parasites from making contact with the body.
Mattress recycling prevents the waste of useful materials and decreases consumption of raw materials. It has saves on energy usage and the resulting gas emissions. For these reasons and many more people are planning recycling option for their old mattress even before they begin shopping for a new one.
Other Resources About Mattress Recycling
Ohio Mattress Recovery recycles mattresses, but not nationally.
Earth911 can give you local options for recycling or donating your mattress. Go to the main page, and search for mattresses.
Earth Talk at The Good Human covers the subject in a question and answer column.
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