In recent years, there’s been a lot of debate around recycling with COP26 discussions bringing a lot of issues to life. This has caused many industries to query their levels of sustainability, with mattresses proving no exception.
The bushfires in Australia have caused a surge of people donating to the cause, but it makes us question what else we can do to help save the planet? As humans, we all have personal responsibilities to strive towards a more environmentally conscious society, and this includes sending as little as possible to the landfill.
To help you do your bit for the environment, keep reading as we divulge how to dispose of a mattress safely and responsibly.
Much like other types of bulky furniture, modern mattresses are filled with materials that are environmentally friendly and, of course, recyclable. From the pocket springs to the soft foam, almost all aspects of mattresses are recyclable nowadays.
There is some variation in this of course, and this isn’t to say that all mattresses are recyclable. Some manufacturers proudly emblaze their products with eco-friendly branding, making it much easier for consumers to figure out where their mattress should go when it’s no longer in use.
For example, the Silentnight Pocket 1400 Eco Comfort Ortho Pocket Sprung Mattress (pictured) has a layer of fibre fillings that is made from recyclable plastic bottles and its construction uses zero flame retardant chemical use.
Recycling mattresses is not a new phenomenon, in fact Mattressman has been operating under a zero-landfill policy for over five years. We also offer one of the cheapest recycling services in the mattress industry, collecting and recycling your old mattresses and bed frames for only £30 per item.
By the time you purchase your next new mattress, the old mattress from 20 years ago will remain in landfill, with more waste gradually piling up on top of it. Over time, the process of recycling a mattress has become much easier. But just how exactly does it work?
The very first step is to determine if your current mattress needs replacing. This can be quite difficult, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Thankfully, we’ve already covered this topic in great detail on our blog.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to get a new mattress, now comes the time to recycle your old one. Here’re all the options you have with mattress recycling:
By far the easiest way to recycle an old mattress is to pay the company delivering your new one to take your old one away with them. This is usually done for an additional charge, but for the convenience it provides, it could prove worthwhile for most buyers.
A mattress collection service covers the removal of the item and the transportation to a recycling centre to get sorted and treated.
Every council in the UK offers at least some form of bulky item collection, including mattresses, bed frames and bedroom furniture.
Most councils charge a fee for this service, which ranges from £12 to £60 depending on where you live. This service is especially helpful when removing multiple pieces of furniture, as councils will often take these as well as your mattress at the same time.
Depending on the condition of your old mattress, another viable option for mattress recycling would be to donate it to a local charity. This is by far the most environmentally friendly option, as there’s no need to process the mattress by removing various components.
When doing this, just be sure to make sure your mattress is nice and clean. If there’s excessive staining and odours, some charities may refuse to accept the mattress for hygiene reasons.
Another cost-effective method of recycling your old mattress is to take it to your local recycling centre. Although this is a relatively cheap option, there’s a lot of work involved with transportation.
Stuffing your old mattress into a small car might not be a great idea, particularly for safety reasons. But if you can borrow a pickup truck or small van, a recycling centre might be your best bet.
A slightly less orthodox option for mattress recycling would be to sell it on. This is great for mattresses with light use, as buyers can often find incredible deals on second-hand sites.
Much like with giving to charity, another thing to bear in mind here would be the condition of the mattresses. Rips, tears and other signs of use could severely impact the resale value, so be sure to only do this as a last resort.
So, your mattress has been collected and it’s on its way to your local recycling centre. Let’s review what happens once it arrives.
Once there, springs will be removed so they can be recycled at steel mills, and any foams are sanitised and repurposed for padding. As for the rest, wood and textiles that are contaminated will be used for energy production.
The process is very time consuming and complex, but the benefit for our environment through reduced landfill is enormous
If your mattress is due an upgrade soon, don’t take your old one down to the local tip. You may be thinking that the materials in mattresses aren’t exactly harmful, so what’s the big deal? And whilst these materials may not be the most damaging in the dump, the mattress will be waiting to deteriorate for decades to come.
If you can do one thing for our environment, ensure that you recycle your mattress and bed frame when it’s time for a change. These small steps will help us protect Essex and the world for future generations to come.
Not only does this mean you can sleep better on a new mattress, but you can sleep better knowing that every part of your old mattress is being recycled – not just waiting to deteriorate in a landfill.
If the time has come for your mattress to be replaced, have a look through the various mattresses we sell today. From king size mattresses with pocket springs, to kids mattresses with soft foams, we have it all.