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When buying a mattress, which Sleep Council recommends you should keep for up to 7 years, you park the thought of replacing it...however it is always good to know your options.
Lindsay Stevens, from Choose Mattress has put together top tips below on why you should recycle your old mattress and the best ways to go about it.
If you are wondering what to do with an old mattress, think twice before simply throwing it away. When mattresses reach a landfill they stay around for a long time, they contribute to greenhouse gas emissions, and they can contribute to ground pollution. Instead of adding to the problem, you should consider recycling your old mattress. It is an environmentally sustainable option that will leave you feeling good about your decision in the end.
Continue reading to learn more about how to dispose of an old mattress responsibly, and why recycling them is so important for our planet as a whole.[caption id="attachment_273" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Know your options when the time comes to recycle your old mattress...[/caption]
Why should you recycle your old mattress?
Mattresses pose several problems when they wind up in a landfill. First, there is only a finite amount of space available in landfills and mattresses can take up a considerable amount. If we want to continue using our landfills without immense expansion we can’t throw all of our old mattresses away, we can’t afford the space.
Second, turning your old bed into rubbish also increases your carbon footprint overall. Most environmentally conscious people are seeking for ways to shrink their carbon footprint and their environmental impact, and this is a great option with immediate gratification! Recycling your old mattress could eliminate around 100 lbs. of rubbish from your personal output, depending on what kind.
What happens if you throw a mattress in the trash?
If you choose not to recycle an old mattress it will most likely wind up in a landfill. This poses several problems to the environment, making it less than ideal. Let’s explore why:
- Mattresses decompose extremely slowMattresses are made from a variety of materials. Some of these materials may decompose relatively quickly, but others take a very long time. Wood, cotton, and natural latex can potentially decompose in a couple years under the right conditions. However, synthetic materials, plastics, different foams, and metals can last for decades or even centuries without decomposing.
- Mattresses emit greenhouse gasesChemical and anaerobic interactions cause mattresses, and other types of garbage, to emit carbon dioxide and methane gases. Both of these glasses are directly linked to increasing the greenhouse effect and are considered some of the most harmful contributors. Greenhouse gasses are a huge part of what’s driving climate change and anything we can do to minimize them is beneficial in the end.
- Mattresses can add to ground pollution over timeAs the materials in a mattress deteriorate, harmful chemicals used in construction are absorbed into the ground. These harmful chemicals can include things like petrochemicals found in foams, bleach, dyes, flame retardant chemicals, fungicides, and many more. Modern landfills have been designed to prevent groundwater contamination but the systems are not perfect. Old landfills are still in use and by contrast, they have no groundwater protections in place. Chemicals leaking into the ground have the potential to contaminate water and other ecosystems nearby.
Where can you recycle your old mattress?
Now that we know why it’s important, let’s have a look at where to recycle mattresses.
If you are purchasing a new mattress from Naturalmat, you can book our mattress recycling service by contacting us, before you make your purchase online, and this can be added to your order. When your new mattress is delivered our team will arrange for your old mattress to be recycled at our nominated recycling centre, which offers zero landfill solution, recycling all parts of your mattress. This can be a convenient option if you don’t have much space to keep your old mattress after your brand new one is delivered. If you wish to arrange for your mattress to be recycled locally, check with your local council.
What do old mattresses become when they are recycled?
When recycled, old mattresses can become a wide array of new things. What an old mattress becomes is largely based on what materials are used to construct it. Once the array of materials is separated they can start to be repurposed.
Metal that makes up springs and frames in mattresses can be used in many different products. Cotton and wool can be washed and used in recycled fabrics and textiles. Other lower grade fabrics can be repurposed as matting for the vehicle interior. Wood can be repurposed for fuel or mulch by simply chipping it. Plastics and different forms can be shredded and used in carpet padding.
These are just a few examples but new innovative ways to repurpose recycled items are emerging every day so the possibilities are limitless.
What if you are not near a recycling location, are there other options?
Lucky for us all, recycling old mattresses is becoming easier and easier due to its increasing popularity as a responsible, environmentally conscious option. Unfortunately, it still is not easily accessible for some people due to financial reasons, lack of transportation, or rural location. If this is the case for you, but you still want to know how to dispose of your mattress properly, try one of the following options before you throw your old bed in the garbage.
- Try selling your old mattressYou can always attempt to sell your old mattress if it is not too soiled or worn out.
- Donate your old mattress to a second-hand storeIf no one buys your old mattress but you still think someone else could get some enjoyment out of it donate it to a charity or second-hand store. Search for stores nearby to find the specifics about where to take old mattresses.
- Upcycle your old mattressTake a look at Pinterest, or another craft site, and get some great ideas on how to upcycle your old mattress. Other crafters have made things like wine racks, planters, and gates from their old mattress materials.
Recycling your old mattress is easy!
Next time you decide to get rid of an old mattress, think twice about how you dispose of it. Don't just throw it away so it finds its way to a landfill. That is not an environmentally sustainable option and recycling an old mattress can be easy, especially now that you have all the necessary tools and information. Nature will thank you in the end!