Do you have an old mattress you need rid of? There are three things you can do. You can either Donate, Recycle, or Throw Away your old mattress. Check out our guide below – we’ll take you through everything you need to know about how to dispose mattresses.
HOW TO DISPOSE MATTRESSES
Have you got an old mattress that you need to get rid of? When it comes to disposing of an old mattress you have some options. If your mattress is still in good condition you can get rid of it for free by donating it.
Alternatively, you can recycle or throw it away. These later two options often involve some kind of a fee. But there are some simple steps you can take to dispose of it for free. We’ll walk you through how to dispose of a mattress – step by step, see below.
- Donate Your Mattress
- Recycle Your Mattress
- Throw Your Mattress Away
- Other Options
- Frequently Asked Questions
HOW TO DONATE YOUR MATTRESS
The easiest way to get rid of an old mattress is to donate it to someone else. If the mattress is in relatively good condition and isn’t noticeably stained, sagging, or damaged you can donate it to a local charity.
This means someone will come around and take it away – you won’t have to worry about contacting your local recycling and disposal facilities. It also means you will be helping people less fortunate than yourself. So, the first step in ‘how to dispose mattresses’ is to explore the possibility of donating it.
You’ll need to bear in mind that charities have acceptance standards that must be met before they will accept a second-hand mattress. Many charities will not accept a mattress that is noticeably worn or damaged. If it has been stained or looks dirty it will most likely be rejected for sanitary reasons.
Your first port of call is to contact your local charities. Reach out by making a phone call and asking them if they would like to take your old mattress. You can take some pictures to give them an idea of its condition. A quick google search will give you a list of charitable organizations in your area. If you can’t find a suitable local charity, see below for a list of nationwide charities.
Any large business or facility that houses residents on a regular business has a demand for mattresses. If your old mattress is still usable and in reasonably good condition there’s a chance a local business will gladly take it. Try contacting your local care centers, residential homes, homeless shelters, and even colleges.
If you experience difficulty tapping into your local charity network check out Donation Town – an online resource for finding local charities. Donation Town provides a free searchable database of charities across the US. All you have to do is enter your zip code and they will show you a list of charities that do pick-ups in your area. You can check out their website over here – Donation Town.
If you can’t find a suitable charity in your area you can try reaching out to some of the big national charities. They may be organizing a collection nearby and be happy to take your old mattress off your hands. See below for a list of charities you should get in touch with.
Goodwill is a community-based charity that sells donated items in its Goodwill thrift stores. There are 162 Goodwill stores stretched out across the US and Canada. Some of these centers accept mattresses. Get in touch by email and find out if they are interested in your mattress donation – Goodwill contact form.
THE SALVATION ARMY
The Salvation Army is an international charitable organization and part of the Protestant church. They are headquartered in London England have many centers throughout the US. The Salvation Army provides homeless shelter for people who are struggling to find accommodation. This means they may be happy to accept a mattress donation.
United Way is a global charity that aims to advance the common good in communities across the world. They are made up of a network of over 1,800 local nonprofit fundraising groups. It is one of the largest non-profit organizations in the US. Get in touch to see if they will accept your mattress donation – contact United Way.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide charity that works to deliver affordable and sustainable housing. Their work includes building new homes and renovating existing buildings. They raise money by selling donated goods in their charity stores called ReStore.
Contact your local store to see if they take mattresses. You can contact ReStore or enter your zip code on their site to see if they have a store in your area – Habitat for Humanity contact & store locator.
FURNITURE BANK NETWORK
The Furniture Bank Network is a charity network that provides free and low-cost furniture to people living in poverty. They are known to accept used mattresses as long as they are in good condition. The Furniture Bank Network has over 80 centers across the US. You can find your closest center over here – find a Furniture Bank.
The Freecycle Network is a non-profit movement who are all about donating and receiving goods so that they can be reused and kept out of landfill. Check out their website to see if they are active in your area and let them know you have a mattress available for donation.
If you’ve worked your way through this list and haven’t had any luck donating your old mattress you should get in touch with your local church groups and religious communities. Some of these groups are involved in providing shelter to people living in poverty and they might need a mattress.
POST ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Another great trick for ‘how to dispose of a mattress’ and get it donated is to post it on social media. Just take a few photos, write a short description, and post it on your social media accounts as being available for donation.
And, make it clear the mattress is available for free. Once people see the word free it tends to spike some interest. Good social media sites for posting your mattress include facebook marketplace, Instagram, Twitter, Craigslist, Snapchat, and Pinterest.
HOW TO RECYCLE YOUR MATTRESS
One of the best ways to dispose of an old mattress is to recycle it. If your mattress is no longer fit for purpose and you haven’t been able to donate it, your next best option is to recycle it. Most old mattresses can be broken down and recycled.
Mattresses are made using a range of materials and many of them are valuable. About 80% of mattress components can be broken down and re-purposed. In general, there are two ways you can recycle your mattress. You can offload it to a recycling center or you can try doing it yourself.
MATTRESS RECYCLING CENTERS
The first thing you should do is contact your local recycling centers. Find out if they accept old mattresses. And, ask them if they collect or do you have to drop it off. Mattresses are bulky and heavy and can be difficult to drop off. Centers often offer a collection service for a small fee,- in the range of $50.
MATTRESS RECYCLING SCHEMES
Some states run an Extended Producer Responsibility Program (EPR) that makes mattress recycling available for free or at a very low cost. This program includes the cost of recycling a mattress at the point of sale, just like a tax. Then, when it comes time to recycle the mattress the fee has already been covered.
This means you can get your mattress recycled for free. Although you may have to pay a small collection fee to get someone to come around and pick it up. Currently, the states that run the Extended Producer Responsibility Program for mattress recycling are California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.
MATTRESS RECYCLING RESOURCES
If you’ve had no luck with your local recycling center or live in a state that doesn’t run a scheme to have your mattress recycled – you still have plenty of options when it comes to getting your mattress recycled. Check out the resources below.
MATTRESS RECYCLING COUNCIL
The mattress recycling council is a nonprofit organization formed and run by the mattress industry to manage mattress recycling. If you live in a region covered by the MRC, just get in touch and arrange for them to come and collect your mattress away.
BYE BYE MATTRESS
The Bye Bye Mattress is run by the Extended Producer Responsibility Program outlined above. It applies to the states of California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. If you are lucky enough to live in one of these states disposing of your mattress will be a breeze.
This is one of the most comprehensive recycling resources available online. Earth 911 allows you to search a database of over 100,000 recycling centers across the US and Canada. You can even enter your zip code to filter results for your area. Then all you have to do is get in touch to see if they take mattresses.
Reach out to your local municipal department. They should have information regarding who manages recycling in your local area. Most cities and towns have implemented some kind of a recycling strategy. If you’ve been unable to find a facility that will take your old mattress – these guys should be able to point you in the right direction.
DIY MATTRESS RECYCLING
If you have been unable to find a recycling facility to help you dispose of your old mattress – you can try doing the recycling yourself. Mattresses are made using a range of valuable raw materials. And, if you can break them apart you can recycle them individually. It’s time to roll up those sleeves!
To take on a DIY mattress recycling project, you’re going to need some space, basic tools, and a little know-how. YouTube is a great resource for finding instructional DIY videos. And, doing a little research upfront can really save you some time when you begin breaking up a mattress.
If your mattress contains steel springs you should start by taking these out. You’ll have no problem getting someone to take these. Most scrap dealers will pay you to take the steel off your hands.
Mattress foam and fabric can be broken down and repurposed as insulation or padding. Wooden frames can be broken down into smaller pieces and the timber used for other projects around your home. It’s time to get creative.
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HOW TO THROW A MATTRESS AWAY
If you have worked your way through the options above and haven’t been able to donate or recycle your mattress your only bet may be to throw it away. While donation and recycling are the preferred options for how to dispose of a mattress – they’re just not always possible.
So, how do you throw away a mattress when it has reached the end of its life cycle? When it comes to throwing away a mattress you need to be careful and follow some simple steps. If you leave it on your curb for trash collection you could pick up a fine. You’ll need to check the garbage collection regulations in your local area.
MUNICIPAL GARBAGE COLLECTION
Some municipalities facilitate the disposal of mattresses. If you are lucky enough to live in one of these areas you can simply dispose of your mattress with your regular weekly trash collection. Your best bet is to get in touch with your local municipal garbage collection service and see if this is a service they offer.
Whatever you do, don’t just dump your mattress on the side of the road in the hope they will come and take it away. Many local services do not take large items such as mattresses. And, leaving one on the side of your curb could result in a fine.
Also, many public trash collection services require that the mattress be fully wrapped before they will take it away. This means wrapping the mattress tightly in a plastic cover and sealing it with tape.
Some areas even require you must a specially designed mattress bag to safely seal your mattress inside. So, contact your local service and find out what you need to do before you dump your mattress on the side of the road.
PRIVATE WASTE DISPOSAL SERVICE
If you can’t dispose of your mattress using your local municipal service, it’s time to reach out to private waste services. Jump on google and search for waste disposal services in your area. While you’re at it – check the reviews to make sure you are dealing with a reputable company.
Waste disposal services are private companies so you can expect to pay a significant fee for having them call out and take your mattress away. Our advice is to contact several providers and get a quote for each. This way you can be sure you are getting the best price available.
OTHER WAYS TO DISPOSE MATTRESSES
While donation, recycling, and throwing away are the best ways of disposing mattresses, there are some other options. Let’s take a look.
TRY SELLING IT
If your mattress is relatively new and is in good condition you can always try selling it. This way you will get rid of an unwanted mattress and get some cash in return. Condition is key here.
And, if your mattress has obvious signs of wear and staining you should avoid wasting your time. Mattresses can be difficult enough to give away – never mind trying to sell an old worn-out one.
You’ll need to check your area for local laws and regulations regarding the sale of second-hand mattresses. Some areas require that mattresses be professionally cleaned and disinfected before they can be sold.
Once you are ready to go you can go ahead and post the mattress online. Take some good quality well-light photos and include a product description. You’ll want to describe the dimensions of the mattress along with the mattress type – memory foam, latex, hybrid, or innerspring. We recommend Facebook and Craigslist as good online marketplaces.
You can also place ads in local outlets such as cafes, laundrettes, and convenience stores. If you have a second-hand furniture shop in your region try reaching out to them. You never know, they may be interested in an almost-new, professionally cleaned, cut-price mattress.
ASK RETAILER TO TAKE IT AWAY
Are you buying a new mattress to replace your old one? Did you know mattress retailers often take away your old mattress when you buy a new one? If you are throwing away your old mattress and buying a new one, ask your retailer if this is a service they provide. Many will do it for free and others for a small fee.
Either way, it could be a service that effortlessly relieves the headache of trying to donate, recycle, or dispose of your old mattress. Some states such as California even require your retailer to take away your old mattress when you purchase a new one.
HOW TO DISPOSE MATTRESSES FAQ
HOW DO YOU GET RID OF MATTRESSES FOR FREE NEAR ME?
To get rid of a mattress for free near you – check out your local donation options. Our advice is to reach out to community-based charities such as homeless shelters, family refuge centers, and religious groups. If your mattress is in good condition they will come and take it away.
WHAT DO YOU DO WITH WASTE MATTRESS?
If your mattress cannot be donated you will have to recycle or dump it. To recycle your mattress contact your local recycle centers for further information. To dump it you will have to contact your local municipal trash collection service or a private waste disposal company.
HOW DO YOU WRAP A MATTRESS IN PLASTIC DISPOSAL?
To wrap a mattress in plastic disposal completely cover it in plastic sheeting or use a plastic mattress bag. Then seal the plastic with duct tape. Wrapping your mattress in plastic is a requirement of many disposal services. And, it prevents bed bugs from escaping.
HOW DO I GET RID OF A MATTRESS IN BOSTON?
You can get rid of a mattress in Boston by leaving it on the side of the curb for collection by the Boston Public Works Department. Be sure you leave it down on the right garbage collection day or you’ll be in for a hefty fine.
WHAT’S THE CHEAPEST WAY TO GET RID OF AN OLD MATTRESS?
The cheapest way to get rid of an old mattress is to donate it. If your old mattress is in good condition and still fit for use you can donate it to a local charity. To find a local charity to donate your old mattress to, reach out to local charities such as homeless shelters, family refuge centers, and religious communities.
Bill is a DIY expert and our resident mattress maintenance and cleaning guru. He’s incredibly capable with his hands and seems to be able to build, repair, or clean just about anything. He has a long history of remodeling and renovation work and has given a facelift to many homes in the New Mexico area over the years.
Bill has over 20 years of experience in the construction industry with a particular focus on woodworking. When he’s not writing for MCG he’s busy working on his last house renovation project. Bill is a native of El Paso Texas and is a keen follower of his local Locomotive FC soccer team.