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Buying a new mattress is one of the longer-lasting investments you’ll make, with many new mattresses having a life expectancy of seven to 10 years or more. If your current mattress isn’t providing a restful night’s sleep, it’s probably time to get one that meets your needs. Of course, after your new mattress is in place, you must dispose of the old one.
It’s estimated that 40 million mattresses are thrown away each year, and 32 million of those end up in landfills. That’s a lot of steel, foam and cotton that could go to better use. Before you drag your old mattress to the curb, consider this list of disposal options.
5 WAYS TO DISPOSE OF YOUR MATTRESS
1. ASK THE RETAILER
When ordering your new model, you should ask the retailer if the delivery team will remove your old mattress for free — many do. That’s the easiest solution for the everyday consumer who has neither time nor truck to take the old mattress elsewhere. Many retailers send the mattresses they pick up to recycling stations, making this an environmentally responsible option.
2. SELL IT OR GIVE IT AWAY
If your mattress is still in good shape, it won’t hurt to try to sell it by running an ad on Craigslist or Facebook. Most communities have weekly tabloids and online bulletin boards for selling, trading or giving items that you don’t need to people who want them.
It’s not always convenient to have a spare mattress taking up space at home, so be sure to price it to sell quickly. If you’re just looking to have someone haul it away for you, offer it for free to anyone who can pick it up.
3. PAY TO HAVE IT REMOVED
You can pay a small fee to a local mattress recycling company to come and remove your old mattress for you. This is arguably the most eco-friendly method of disposal because the recycling company will tear the mattress apart and repurpose every part of it. The following national companies can come to your home, take your mattress and recycle it for you:
- Load Up offers competitive pricing across the U.S. for junk removal and is known for its good customer relations. They will even take mattresses with bed bugs as long as they receive advanced notice.
- 1-800-GOT-JUNK will remove any mattresses and other household junk. Call to arrange an appointment for one of their uniformed truck teams to visit your residence. They offer a one-price inclusive service. They also accept mattresses with bedbugs if they receive an advanced warning.
4. DONATE IT TO CHARITY
Various homeless shelters and safe houses can always put a mattress to good use. Oftentimes, they’re perfectly happy to come and collect it from you, too. There’s also the added benefit of deducting it on your taxes, provided you get a dated receipt for your donation. A used mattress is worth anywhere from $10 to $50, depending on its size and condition.
If you can’t find a charity or shelter to take it, you can always donate your mattress to a charitable neighborhood thrift store. Some will even pick up donations at your home. Be sure to contact the store first as not all thrift stores accept used mattress donations.
Charities That Need Mattresses
These companies are always looking for items that they can use or sell. Some even offer mattress pickup.
- The Salvation Army offers pickup service for old mattresses in some locations, and items may also be brought to any location that receives used goods. Mattresses must be in good condition with no tears, burns or other damage. Donations are tax-deductible.
- Habitat for Humanity International is a nonprofit organization that provides sustainable and affordable living accommodations for needy people. It accepts gently used mattresses, which it sells at ‘ReStore’ home improvement centers throughout the country. Item pickup is available in some locations, or donations can be brought to them.
- Furniture Bank Association of America provides home furnishings at little or no cost to impoverished individuals and families. Old mattresses are welcome, but pickup is limited to a 15- to 20-mile radius of the nearest bank’s brick-and-mortar location.
5. CONSULT YOUR WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY
When all else fails, there is always waste management. Many communities have large-item pick up a few times per year, usually in the spring and fall. However, some areas let you schedule up to three free pickups annually by contacting the local waste removal company. While many townships do this free of charge, it’s worth noting you may be charged a fee based on volume.
INCORRECT DISPOSAL OF A MATTRESS
If you have a hard time getting rid of your old mattress, don’t do anything hasty.
- Mattresses should not be burned. The filler material and metal inside can give off chemically saturated smoke that might be harmful. In addition to being bad for the environment, open-air burning is also illegal in many states.
- Don’t take it somewhere and dump it. There are laws against dumping trash on private property or places that are not licensed to deal with it. If you must dump your mattress, take it to a landfill.
It shouldn’t take long to get rid of your old mattress, and with any luck, you can avoid adding it to a landfill. Between recyclers repurposing the materials and those in need using it for sleep, there are constructive ways to dispose of used mattresses.