How To Recycle A Mattress [5 Practical Ways]

As environmental awareness increases, it becomes vital to responsibly dispose of waste. Among the items that pose disposal challenges, old mattresses rank high. They often end up in landfills, taking up space and harming the environment. Fortunately, mattress recycling provides a sustainable solution.

Recycling mattresses helps reduce waste and minimize environmental impact. Instead of filling landfills and potentially contaminating the soil, recycling centers worldwide are addressing this issue. 

In this guide, we’ll explore the mattress recycling process, providing essential information to help you contribute to a healthier planet. We’ll also cover the importance of mattress recycling and help you locate local recycling facilities.  

By following our guide, you can join the movement toward sustainable waste management. Recycling mattresses not only reduce environmental impact but also promotes a circular economy, conserving and reusing resources.

Can You Recycle a Mattress?

Yes, mattresses can be recycled. They are made of materials like metal springs, foam, fabric, and wood that can be reused.

In the recycling process, mattresses are taken apart, and their parts are separated for recycling. Metal springs can become new metal products, foam and fabric can turn into carpet padding or insulation, and wood frames can be chipped or repurposed.

Many communities have mattress recycling programs or centers. They handle recycling efficiently and ensure materials are properly reused. Some manufacturers or retailers also have their own recycling programs.

Before recycling, check local options and guidelines. Find recycling centers, understand their requirements, and check for fees or specific instructions.

If the mattress is still in good condition, consider donating it to someone in need. Recycling your mattress helps the environment and supports sustainable waste management.

Why Recycle A Mattress?

Recycling your mattress offers several important benefits for both the environment and society. Here are some key reasons why recycling your mattress is a worthwhile choice:

#Reducing Waste: Mattresses are bulky items that take up significant space in landfills. By recycling them, you help reduce the overall waste burden and conserve valuable landfill space.

#Minimizing Environmental Impact: When mattresses decompose in landfills, they can release harmful chemicals and contribute to soil and water pollution. Recycling prevents these environmental hazards.

#Resource Conservation: Mattresses contain valuable materials like metal springs, foam, fabric, and wood. Recycling allows these resources to be repurposed and reused in various industries, reducing the need for new raw materials. 

#Promoting a Circular Economy: Recycling mattresses aligns with the concept of a circular economy, where products are recycled and reintroduced into the production cycle, extending their lifespan and reducing waste.

#Supporting Local Communities: Many mattress recycling programs create jobs and stimulate local economies. Recycling centers provide employment opportunities in handling and processing discarded mattresses.

#Energy Savings: Recycling requires less energy compared to manufacturing new products from raw materials. By recycling mattresses, you contribute to energy conservation.

#Environmental Awareness: Choosing to recycle your mattress demonstrates your commitment to environmental responsibility and encourages others to follow suit.

#Creating New Products: Recycled mattress materials can be used to create new items like insulation, carpet padding, and other useful products, giving a second life to the materials.

#Regulatory Compliance: In some regions, mattress recycling might be mandatory or incentivized as part of waste management regulations.

#Personal Satisfaction: Recycling your mattress provides a sense of satisfaction, knowing that you are contributing to a more sustainable and cleaner environment for future generations.

Overall, mattress recycling is a simple yet impactful way to make a positive difference for the planet, conserve resources, and support a more sustainable waste management system.

Ways to Recycle a Mattress

old mattress
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Have you ever wondered what happens to your old mattress when you’re ready to part ways with it? 

Recycling your mattress is an exciting and eco-friendly way to responsibly dispose of it while contributing to a more sustainable future. Instead of letting it end up in a landfill, recycling centers are equipped to repurpose its materials, reducing waste and environmental impact.

Here are some steps to follow when recycling your mattress:

#1. Check if your mattress is still under warranty

Before proceeding with mattress recycling, it’s worth checking if your mattress is still under warranty. 

Warranty periods can vary depending on the manufacturer and specific terms and conditions. To determine if your mattress is still covered, consider the following steps:

  • Locate the warranty documentation provided at the time of purchase, such as a warranty card, receipt, or online registration details.
  • Review the warranty coverage to understand its duration and requirements for filing a claim.
  • Identify any issues or defects in your mattress that may be covered by the warranty, like sagging, broken coils, or manufacturing defects.
  • Contact the manufacturer or retailer to initiate the warranty claim process if your mattress qualifies.
  • Follow the provided instructions for filing a warranty claim, which may involve completing a form or submitting photographs.
  • Allow the manufacturer or retailer to review your claim and determine the resolution, which could include repair, replacement, or reimbursement. 

Remember to refer to the specific terms and conditions of the manufacturer or retailer, as warranty coverage and processes may vary. Checking the warranty status can help you explore warranty options before considering mattress recycling or disposal.

#2. Sell it

If you want to sell your mattress instead of recycling it: 

  • Clean and prepare the mattress to make it appealing.
  • Determine a fair selling price based on market research.
  • Choose a platform to sell, like online marketplaces or local classified ads.
  • Create an attractive listing with clear photos and a detailed description.
  • Advertise your listing and share it on social media for more visibility.
  • Respond promptly to inquiries and be honest about the mattress’s condition.
  • Arrange a secure transaction with the buyer, considering a safe meeting place.
  • Provide necessary paperwork, like warranties or receipts, to transfer ownership.

Always follow local regulations and ensure a safe and transparent selling experience.

#3. Take it to Local Recycling Centers

To recycle your mattress, follow these simple steps:

  • Find local recycling centers: Look for nearby places that accept mattresses. Check their requirements on their website or by contacting them.
  • Prepare the mattress: Remove the bedding and clean it according to the center’s guidelines.
  • Check fees and rules: Some centers may charge a fee or have specific guidelines for mattress size and condition. Ask about any costs or requirements.
  • Transport the mattress: If it’s small, you can move it yourself. For larger ones, arrange for a truck or professional help.
  • Drop off the mattress: Take it to the recycling center during their open hours. Follow their instructions and complete any necessary paperwork.
  • Learn about the recycling process: If interested, ask the center how they recycle mattresses. They can explain how they take it apart and reuse its materials.

Recycling your mattress at a local center reduces waste and helps the environment. They have the expertise and resources to handle mattresses properly, ensuring their materials are reused instead of going to landfills.

#4. Donate it

To donate your mattress instead of recycling or disposing of it, follow these steps: Assess the mattress’s condition, research donation options, contact donation centers, schedule a pick-up or drop-off, complete necessary paperwork, consider additional donations, and follow safety guidelines. 

Donating your mattress allows someone else to benefit from its use and is a kind and sustainable way to help those in need.

Some examples of places where you can donate your mattress include;

  • Larger Organizations

Donate your mattress to larger organizations like charities, shelters, or non-profit groups that help people in need. This way, your mattress can benefit more individuals and families. 

Contact these organizations, learn about their donation process, and schedule a pick-up or drop-off. 

Your donation supports their efforts and contributes to a more sustainable and compassionate community.

  • Local Donations

Donate your mattress to local charities, shelters, or non-profit groups. This way, you can directly help people in your community who need a mattress. 

Contact these organizations, learn about their donation process, and arrange a pick-up or drop-off. 

By donating locally, you make a positive impact and contribute to the well-being of your community.

  • Give It Away

Consider giving away your mattress instead of recycling or disposing of it. Assess its condition, reach out to friends and family, or use online platforms to find someone in need. 

Arrange for safe pick-up or delivery, provide any necessary instructions, and prioritize safety and hygiene. 

Giving away your mattress benefits others and promotes reuse, reducing waste, and creating a more sustainable and caring community.

#5. Recycle it yourself

If you’re up for the challenge, you can recycle your mattress yourself. Here’s a simplified guide:

Step One

When recycling mattresses, the process involves dismantling them to separate their various components. 

One of the first steps is cutting the mattresses open to access their different layers. Once separated, these layers are repurposed in various ways. 

For instance, foam can be recycled into carpet underlayment or used as padding for animal beds. Cotton from the mattress can find new life as industrial oil filters. 

By breaking down the mattresses and recycling their components, we can reduce waste and give these materials a second chance at being useful in different applications.

Step Two

To recycle a mattress, the materials are sorted based on their types such as foam, fiber, and other soft materials. These components are then compressed and prepared for recycling or repurposing.

Instead of simply discarding your old mattress, you can choose more sustainable options by giving it to organizations that specialize in mattress recycling. By doing so, you contribute to reducing waste and supporting eco-friendly practices. 

Recycling your mattress helps extend the life of its materials and minimizes its impact on the environment.

Step Three

During the mattress recycling process, the metal components such as springs and box springs are removed and sent to scrap recyclers. These recyclers sell the metal to steel mills and foundries, where it can be used to create new products.

The used springs, in particular, are valuable materials that can be repurposed. They are often used in the manufacturing of new appliances and building materials. 

By recycling the metal components of a mattress, we not only reduce waste but also promote the sustainable use of resources by giving them a new life in various industries.

Step Four

In this step, the wood components of the mattress go through a process of thorough shredding and are shredded into smaller pieces. 

The shredded wood or wood chips or mulch have various eco-friendly uses, such as landscaping to conserve moisture, control weeds, and improve soil health. The shredded wood can also be burned as an alternative fuel source in biomass power plants, which is more sustainable than traditional fossil fuels. 

Recycling wood from mattresses gives it a new purpose and helps promote a sustainable approach to mattress disposal and resource management.

Can mattresses be recycled if they have bed bugs?

Bed bug-infested mattresses cannot be recycled due to the risk of spreading the infestation. Recycling centers have strict rules to protect against bed bugs. 

If you have a mattress with bed bugs, follow local guidelines for proper disposal. Contact your local waste management or health department for instructions.

They will guide you on how to safely dispose of the mattress, which may involve wrapping it in plastic or using other methods to contain the infestation. Responsible disposal prevents the spread of bed bugs to others.

What mattress recycling programs already exist?

There are various mattress recycling programs and initiatives in place across different regions. Here are a few examples of mattress recycling programs that exist:

  1. Mattress Recycling Council (MRC): The MRC operates recycling programs in several states in the United States, including California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. They provide resources and services to ensure mattresses are recycled properly.
  1. Bye Bye Mattress: Bye Bye Mattress is a program developed by MRC to promote mattress recycling in the United States. It offers free drop-off locations and collection events where residents can bring their old mattresses for recycling.
  1. Local Recycling Centers: Many local recycling centers and waste management facilities have established mattress recycling programs. They accept mattresses and process them for recycling, often charging a small fee for the service.
  1. Non-profit Organizations: Some non-profit organizations partner with recycling centers or operate their own mattress recycling programs. They accept mattress donations and ensure they are recycled or refurbished for reuse.
  1. Manufacturer Take-Back Programs: Some mattress manufacturers have their own take-back programs, where they accept and recycle their brand’s mattresses at the end of their life cycle.

It’s important to research and contact local recycling facilities, waste management centers, or environmental organizations in your area to learn about specific mattress recycling programs available to you.


Recycling your mattress is a wonderful way to contribute to a cleaner environment and a more sustainable future. 

By researching local recycling options, preparing the mattress properly, and following any guidelines or fees, you can ensure it gets a second life and avoids ending up in a landfill. 

Taking this small step can make a big difference in reducing waste and conserving resources, while also helping to protect our planet for generations to come. So, let’s choose mattress recycling and be part of the positive change!

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