How To Dispose Of A Mattress
This is a more difficult thing than at first appears, due to the intricate bone-like structure within a standard mattress. If you’re wanting to get rid of your old mattress and replace it with a memory foam one, it’s likely that the following steps will be of use.
How do you break down a mattress?
First, if your mattress has them, pluck out the tabs or buttons which are typically punched in or embedded into many mattresses, using a seam ripper. Then, remove the binding cord from all around the edges of your mattress; locate the end of the piping and use some sort of all-purpose knife to carefully rip it away, until both sides are done. The strands of fabric can be donated or perhaps even reused if you’re creative and resourceful. The next step is to take off the sides of the mattress before removing the top layer of fabric. This will expose a fluffier, more padded layer that is connected via fastening staples. Simply snip these away to release.
Sweep all the fluffy interior layering into a bag or box; it can be recycled or even used as compost. The bottom fiber layer is next to go; this can also be reused or recycled, as you wish. The hardest bit is saved for last; metal springs! It’s best to use a wire or bolt cutter for this, so as to cut it all up into smaller, more manageable pieces that can be recycled or sold for scrap. Some folk might like to ‘upcycle’ these innerspring, fashioning it into potholders, wine racks, or whatever else comes into your head. Be creative!
Can you just throw away a mattress?
In theory, yes, or you can rent a dumpster and send it via that to a landfill; a better way, perhaps is to get in touch with your nearest recycling facility, who works with haulers, to pick up your mattress and recycle it for you. It can cost up to $30, although some states eg. California, Connecticut, Rhode Island have brought in laws allowing you to recycle your mattress or air mattress for free or virtually free; this program is an EPR (Extended Producer Responsibility).
Another thought is, once you’ve managed to prize apart all the mattresses components as explained above, you can recycle its steel springs, wooden frame, outer foam, and polyurethane foam yourself. You might even be able to get some money for the metal coils or think outside the box by using the mattress’ foam to serve as packing aids, if and when you move. A quirky art project, dog bed padding or cushion covers are other possibilities.
A further suggestion is to donate your mattress to charity; why deconstruct it if it could be used by someone in need. Certain organizations will actually assist you in locating a charity that will accept it (they won’t all be equally keen; it’s a big item), while others will help ensure your mattress goes specifically to a family that really needs it. Alternatively, you could seek to give it away for free yourself, by advertising in the local newspaper, freecycle websites, or even in local store windows. This will hopefully mean you won’t have to destroy it or send it to landfills, and it might be exactly what someone is looking for; a college student, perhaps, or someone who has fallen on hard times.
Who will haul away old mattresses?
You can rent a dumpster relatively inexpensively and put into it not just your mattress but a whole range of other items. Some mattress companies or bed suppliers will actually offer to take it away for you if you order a new one through them. In the current climate, it’s worth shopping around and even negotiating with the sales manager as to whether this could become part of the deal. A clever option is to do this before you move (if you’re about to move) because your removal specialists will be moving all of your stuff anyway, including mattresses, as part of the moving package.
Whatever option you choose, mattresses are hefty items that are not so easy to get rid of; with a bit of nifty thinking and creativity, you can choose the right option for you. If you have young children, for instance, or young nephews and nieces, maybe give it to them so they try out their new basketball, wrestling or gymnastics moves without the risk of getting hurt. It could even be used in their treehouse, den or garden shed. Think back, for a moment, to those times when you were a young kid. Wouldn’t a mattress have been used more cleverly by you than it would have been by your parents, uncles, or aunts? It could also make for great sound-proofing if you have teenaged members in your household who are just starting to get into music!