Do you have an old mattress you need to get rid of? Mattresses are full of materials and chemicals that are decidedly not eco friendly: formaldehyde, polyurethane, petroleum based materials, volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), and so on. (Come to think of it, why are we sleeping on something containing such hazardous chemicals? More on that in a second post.)
For anyone wanting to be environmentally friendly, mattress recycling poses a substantial obstacle. You can’t take it to the typical recycling center and most charities won’t accept them because of health regulations. What to do? Here are a few ideas.
1) Craigs List. As they say, one man’s garbage is another man’s treasure. In this tough economy there are tons of people who would simply love to take a free mattress off your hands.
2) Freecycle. Freecyle.org is a worldwide network comprised of local groups whose members give away and exchange items for free so as to recycle products and keep them out of landfills. Check to see if there is a Freecycle group in your area (my local one has over 6000 members!)
3) Your City or County. Your local government may offer mattress recycling–but if they do, make sure they’re not just taking them to the landfill because your attempt to recycle it will be for nothing.
4) Ecohaul.com. Can’t find someone who wants the mattress? Have it hauled away by this company that pledges to do everything possible to keep materials it picks up out of landfills.
Looking for ways to reuse your old mattress will keep it out of the landfill and the environment.