How To Get Rid of a Mattress Responsibly: Avoid These 4 Mistakes

You don’t buy a mattress every day – luckily. Researching the hundreds of options can be a long and confusing process. Experts say the average lifespan of a mattress is around 10 years, so this experience is inevitable. But what do you do with the old one when you’ve found one that suits you and put it in your bedroom?

Think twice before you park it on the side of the road. It turns out that there are right and wrong ways to dispose of an old mattress.

“About 20 million mattresses go to landfill every year,” says Erin Rossi, editor at “Since the materials used in most beds are not biodegradable, they can take decades to break down. Mattresses release toxic chemicals that pollute our floors, water and air. “

In some states, such as Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island, mattress manufacturers must provide consumers with a convenient way to dispose of old mattresses. And the Mattress Recycling Council runs a number of recycling programs across the country. However, these options are not available in every city. Therefore, it is important to know how to properly dispose of your mattress no matter where you live.

Here are some of the biggest don’ts when it comes to getting rid of your mattress.

1. Put it on the curb with a “Free” sign

It might sound like a good idea to invite people to use a free mattress, but there is no guarantee that someone will pick it up. And leaving your old mattress next to a commercial dumpster is no better.

“A lot of people think if they just put a mattress on the curb, someone or the city will take it,” says Lori Barnes, the council’s head of industrial communications. “Check with your local government about how bulky waste is collected in your area. You may need to make an appointment. “

If your mattress isn’t stained or infested with bed bugs, you can also recycle it at one of the mattress recycling facilities across the country. Above all, Barnes says around 75% of a mattress Parts like metal springs, wood and fibers can be used to make new items.

Goodbye mattress, a program offered by the Council, provides a nationwide list of well-known mattress recyclers.

You can also list your mattress for sale or put it up for free on websites like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, Freecycle, Next door, or OfferUp. This way you can make sure that your mattress is actually picked up.

Just make sure you know the rules for selling a used mattress in your state. In many states it is stipulated whether the condition of the mattress should be clearly marked and whether it needs to be refurbished. And in Kansas, it’s actually illegal to sell a used mattress.


Observe: Step by step: How to clean a mattress


2. Burning the mattress

Burning an old mattress is not only unsafe (as the fire can get out of hand), it can also be harmful to the environment and be illegal in some areas.

“Most mattresses sold in the United States contain flame retardant chemicals. If you set your used mattress on fire, these chemicals are released into the air, ”says Barnes. “Chemicals do not disappear in the air and can be harmful to you, the environment and your surroundings.”

“A campfire is always a good time, but not when it starts with a mattress,” warns Jason Brown, Chief Marketing Officer at LoadUp, a nationwide full service trash removal and transportation company.

He suggests asking the company you bought the new mattress from to see if they can move the old one away.

3. Illegal dumping

“Throwing your old bed on the street seems like the most comfortable option, but it will only cause you more problems in the long run,” says Rossi.

You may face an “illegal dumping” offense involving community service and some sort of refund.

“When a ticket is issued, the fees can cost up to a thousand dollars,” she says.

According to Rossi, most local garbage collection services will only pick up large items on a specific day of bulk pickup.

She adds that if the mattress is left outdoors for long periods of time, it can become a breeding ground for pests and rodents, making it an environmental and health hazard.

4. Donate a bad mattress

Charitable donations are always a good option, but you never want to donate a mattress that has stains or strong odors. The same applies to an uncomfortable mattress.

“If a mattress doesn’t give you supportive and healthy sleep, it’s probably not good enough for someone else, either,” says Barnes.

The best way to dispose of a tarnished mattress – whether the damage is due to bed bugs, liquid, or anything else that makes the mattress unusable – is to wrap it in plastic wrap or in shrink wrap in the bedroom.

The goal is to seal the mattress so that you don’t spread anything when you pull it out of your house. Since a mattress is considered a bulky item, you will need to arrange collection with your local hygiene department or a private garbage disposal company.

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