Can a Mattress be Recycled?

Did you know that in the UK we dispose of almost 8 million mattresses each year?

How many of those do you think are actually recycled? A measly 13%.

Most of the rest go to landfill, and considering the size of a mattress, this is hardly sustainable.

These are shocking statistics when you realise that yes, a mattress can be recycled, with very little effort.

We believe that there are 2 main reasons why this isn’t happening,

  1. People don’t realise that mattresses are recyclable.
  2. There is a cost involved, other disposal methods are free
Orthopaedic Open Coil Spring Mattress

What is the easiest way to recycle a mattress?

When you are having a new mattress delivered you will often have the option for the delivery drivers to take away your old mattress.

Larger and more prominent companies will do this for a fee of around £20. You will receive peace of mind that it will definitely not be going to landfill.

Some smaller business offer the same service, it is recommended that you check their policy that mattresses are disposed of responsibly.

There are designated businesses that recycle mattresses and nothing else. You will incur a fee but sometimes that’s a small price to pay for using the eco-friendly option.

These are popping up across the country, details are all available online.

How is a mattress recycled?

Until recently, mattresses would have to be taken apart by hand. This is obviously time-consuming and costly. It’s little wonder that there is a charge.

More recently, machines are being designed to do the job. These aren’t widely used but, as people become more conscious of their waste, will increase in numbers in years to come.

Any springs that are in the mattress will be removed and sold on to a metal recycling specialist.

The remaining wool and cotton can be recycled back into the fabric industry.

Any foam will possibly be used in carpet underlay.

How can I get rid of a mattress?

If recycling really isn’t for you then there are many other options when trying to dispose of an old mattress.

If it really is beyond use, almost all local councils offer a bulky collection service. There will be a small charge and you will need to get the mattress to the front of your property.

Some councils will try to avoid sending waste to landfill, but there are no guarantees.

Local Refuse Centres will accept mattresses. You will just have to go through the inconvenience of getting it there.

If your mattress still has some life left in it, then there are more options.

  • Gift it to someone in need, family or friend
  • Donate it to a charity. Providing it is clean and still has the fire retardant label, lots of charity shops with furniture departments, will collect it.
  • Research charitable networks. People escaping domestic violence, leaving foster care or starting out alone are just some of the people who you can be put in touch with. This will give you a great sense of satisfaction too.
  • Sell it! There are many online sites such as Face Book Market Place and Shpock where it is free to advertise.
  • Skip companies are fine with you throwing mattresses in when you hire a skip. Just be aware that it will almost always go to landfill.

Sometimes upcycling can be every bit as good as recycling.

Burning a mattress or sending it to an incinerator should never be an option. It is not only a health and safety risk, but it is also harmful to the environment.

And finally…

With enough mattresses to fill Wembley Stadium more than 5 times thrown away EACH YEAR, we hope we have given you some food for thought.

If we all try and upcycle or recycle our unwanted mattresses it could be another step towards building a more eco-friendly world for all of us.