Monday, April 21, 2014
Today's recycling topic: Mattresses
We throw out 40 million mattresses in the United States every year, and since each one can take up to 40 cubic feet of landfill space it's really important to recycle them if possible.
If your old mattress and boxspring are clean and still in usable shape, call around to family and friends first to see if anyone can use them (when you buy a new bed, you can ask your salesperson if they offer an old bed recycling service, too.) You can also move the old bed to a spare room to make it into a guest room. You may also check with your local thrift shops, homeless and crisis shelters to see if they will take them (because people often try to donate soiled mattresses most thrifts won't, but it doesn't hurt to check.)
If your old mattress and boxspring are not in usable condition, before you throw it to the curb contact your local waste management facility to see if they offer any kind of recycling service. Some do change a fee to take them, but this covers the cost of breaking down the bed into its many recyclable components.
One final thought: protect all the beds you own to help them last longer and be in good shape for future recycling by covering the mattresses with a waterproof cover. They now make them very thin, and often with cloth outer covers so it doesn't feel like you're sleeping on top of a garbage bag.