No doubt everyone is aware of the mattress economy growing, the endless TV advertisements telling you that for a good night’s sleep you need to replace your mattress every 7 years and promising you a 100-day money-back guarantee if not satisfied. When realistically it will last you 10 years. With over 8 million plus mattresses now sold each year, this is creating an impossible waste mountain.
Now I doubt you can even begin to imagine the size of the mound at a landfill site with 800+ mattresses which can take between 80-120 years to decompose.
So, what to do:
When you purchase your next mattress seriously think about how to dispose of your old one. We know a new one can cost anything from a few hundred up to thousands of pounds. Long gone are the days of getting rid of your old one for free.
There are different ways to get rid of your old mattress. Some are legal. Others are illegal. Below are the legal ways to do this:
Get the shop to take your old one away
When you buy from a store they will normally take your old one for a charge when delivering your new one, however, a lot of purchases are now through websites where it is delivered in a box to your doorstep, leaving you to dispose of your old one.
Take your mattress to the local tip
If you have a vehicle large enough to transport your mattress, you can take it to the tip. However, it may just end up in landfill,
Take your mattress to a recycling centre
According to the consumer rights organisation Which?, more and more mattress recycling facilities are emerging in the UK. You will however need a car for this as bringing them on foot is not allowed.
Ask the council to collect your mattress
You can ask your local council to collect the mattress. Many provide a bulky waste collection service. Often this includes beds and mattresses. Be aware, however, that this may be expensive. Not only that, your mattress could end up in a local landfill. Many authorities say they’ll recycle some of the old waste or as much of it as they can.
Often, you’ll have to leave the items in a specific spot outside your house. If you’re doing away with your bed and your mattress, these will count as two items. You’ll pay a charge for each item.
Use a fully licensed waste disposal company like ourselves
Here at The Rubbish Removers we are very environmentally conscious and guarantee you that we take every single mattress to a recycling company where each one is stripped down for the various different components.
Below are the parts that businesses can reuse in some way:
- Springs: Businesses can melt these down to make various light iron-based items or scrap.
- Wadding: Manufacturers can repurpose this filling for cushions. How a business recycles the wadding depends on the material itself.
- Foam: It’s possible to use this for alternative carpeting or as refuse fuel once the business has cleaned, processed and baled the foam.
- Mattress covering: Normally, it’s possible to recycle a good quality covering. Although there are different ways to use the covering again, the possibility of contamination makes the use of it as refuse fuel the most common way.
The Illegal way
Fly tipping and illegal recycling – Mattress Disposal and Recycling
Fly-tipping is a crime that involves depositing waste on land that doesn’t have a licence to accept it. This could be an old mattress, some bin bags or some electrical items in the street. The tipping may be on a larger scale, consisting of vast amounts of construction waste or demolition waste and occur on different land types. Either way, it’s illegal. Below are some shocking statistics on fly-tipping:
- Statistics from 2016/17 show that councils in England dealt with more than a million fly-tipping incidents. The cost was staggering. They spent around £58 million clearing up the mess.
- In 2017/18, local authorities had to address around 998,000 incidents.
- In 2018/19, local authorities encountered more than a million cases (1,072,000) again. This is an increase of 8% compared to 2017/18.
- The Guardian online reports that illegal dumping has increased by 50% since 2012.
So, remember to think are you disposing of your mattress correctly?
Always think carefully about how you discard your mattress. How you do it can have serious consequences for the environment and your status as a law-abiding citizen. The best policy is to take your used mattress to a recycling centre or to contact the local council or a professional mattress collection company to take it away for you. If you’ve arranged for a mattress collection, check that whoever is performing it will transport the mattress somewhere for recycling. If they don’t say whether they will, your mattress could end up as a landfill.
You don’t always have to take your mattress to a recycling centre or ask someone to collect it and transport it for you. You may prefer to sell your mattress or donate it to someone. Whatever you do, please don’t leave it outside your home; dump it out in the countryside somewhere or sneak it into someone else’s skip. Otherwise, rather than a company coming to take the mattress away, the authorities could come to take you away.