Mattress recycling really is a thing and the last place an old mattress should be is in a landfill. But there are growing problems with mattresses.
Even though almost all mattresses can be recycled, it requires some special processes. And there are not enough facilities to keep up with the demand.
There was a time when we routinely slept on the same mattress, year after year, for 10 or 12 years or more. Older Americans recall learning to live with busted springs, well-worn dips, and poorly supported backs at night.
But no longer.
Today there are a plethora of new and innovative mattresses on the market, many available online and shipped in bags, boxes, and cartons, right to your door. Longer trial periods with easy return guarantees mean that one could sleep for free on a new mattress every three months for years without ever buying one.
Yet, it is those very innovations that are creating a bit of a recycling and landfill problem.
According to a story at The Guardian,
"Mattresses are a global environmental nightmare. The US throws away 18.2m mattresses a year, but there are only 56 facilities available to recycle them.
Changing consumer behaviour is behind this ever-growing mattress mountain. Time was, you would change your mattress every eight to 10 years. But with online retailers offering more choice than ever, we have learned to expect better mattresses, and to replace them more frequently."
And the same article goes to note that there are now at least 175 companies that will ship roll-down mattresses to your front door; one of the first movers in this space, the US firm Casper, was valued at $1.1bn in 2019.
That was just two years ago - the market has not seemed to slow down.
And that means many more old and used mattresses are being disposed of than ever before in the United States. But far too many of those now end up in landfills where they are not welcomed and take up a great deal of space.
One source noted that,
"More than 80% of a used mattress' components can be recycled, and still, more than 50,000 end up in landfills every year. The California Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) funds a recycling program through a state-mandated $10.50 recycling fee on each mattress, foundation, box spring, and adjustable base sold."
If you search the Internet on this topic, you will find that 50,000 figure used quite a bit. However, it is only a dated estimate and it is almost impossible to know how many used mattresses are really ending up in our diminishing landfills.
What we can know for sure is why landfilling them is a patently bad option.
According to the website GROWensemble.com,
"Most mattresses contain carbon-based materials. When placed in a landfill, these carbon-based materials anaerobically break down and create methane gas. This methane gas slowly escapes from landfills and contributes to global warming 23 times more than carbon.
Some mattresses are incinerated instead of rotting in landfills. This process produces environmentally toxic pollution and isn’t 100% effective as a disposal method. After incineration, 40% of a mattress still needs to be landfilled. Aside from the pollution, both incineration and landfill disposal of mattresses are costly."
Currently, there are just three states that have Mattress Stewardship Programs that provide for the recycling of used mattresses. Those are California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. However, many states are steering in this direction and there are numerous mattress recyclers, collection sites and collection events across the country.
This infographic from byebyematress.com gives a snapshot of the mattress recycling issue:
Junk King can provide you with affordable, safe, and eco-friendly mattress disposal service. And we will make the whole process easy for you. Our experienced mattress removal team has all the resources needed to quickly and easily haul away your old mattress and even your old box springs.
And we do it without damaging any of your home on the way out!
Our professional and insured mattress disposal team will call 15 to 30 minutes before we arrive at your home. Once we’re there, we’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your mattress takes up in our truck, along with any other junk items you want to get rid of. You simply point and we haul your items into our junk removal trucks, with no hidden fees.
You can make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).