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All good things come to an end.
This means sooner or later you’ll have to dispose of your old mattress.
But you cannot just throw it away: otherwise, it will join over 300,000 mattresses that are sent on the landfill every year — assuming you live in Victoria (1).
However, there are more ethical ways to dispose of a mattress in Australia. These include free disposal, services that recycle mattresses or charity donations.
Are you interested?
Well, then scroll down and you’ll find out how exactly each of these methods works and where to dispose of your old mattress!
The most environmentally-friendly way to dispose of an old mattress is recycling it. You have two possible options here: hiring a recycling company or go full DIY.
A recycling company typically picks your mattress up and then breaks it down to its components. Some components can be reused or repurposed: for example, foam and latex layers become a carpet underline. Other materials — such as metal coils or wood from box springs — can be recycled. Coils are recycled as scrap metal, and wood is turned to wood chips for particleboard.
You can find some international and Australia-wide recycling enterprises, such as Soft Landing, Recycling Near You, or Got Junk? They typically have councils in all large metro cities, such as Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth.
All you need to do it to book a pick-up on a certain day and pay a small fee (usually between $25 and 50, depending on the state and company).
Or, if you don’t want to pay a fee, you can bring your the mattress by yourself, if your enterprise of choice has drop-off points, and just leave in there.
For example, Soft Landing offers free mattress recycling in Sydney and Melbourne, and Recycling Near You has councils Australia-wide.
Also, large cities have local recycling services that you can call:
- Perth: Recycling Centre Balcatta;
- Adelaide: Adelaide Waste and Recycling Centre;
- Sydney: Mattress Recycle Australia;
- Melbourne: BedCollect, 1300Rubbish;
- Brisbane: MattressRecyclers.
Note that these services may also have a recycling fee.
Finally, you can break your old mattress down and repurpose the elements. For example, coils can make a great art installation or wine rack, foam can be used as a pad for your bed or as a protective barrier for fragile items, etc.
#2: Mattress Donation
Another option that will help you discard your old mattress without bringing it on a landfill is a donation to a charity.
However, this option also requires a bit more effort because not all mattresses can qualify for a donation.
So, before donating a mattress to a charity, you should inspect your mattress for ‘red flags’, such as:
- Stains. Any stain will void your warranty but the liquid that got into deep layers of the mattress can also cause problems, such as foul odour and mould. So if your mattress has got stains on the surface, it’s better to recycle it instead of donating.
- Sagging and uneven surface. Major structural problems, such as bent or broken coils, torn foam or large holes in the cover fabric make the mattress unsuitable for donation.
- Infestations. This is an obvious no. If your mattress has clear signs of bug or mould infestation, it should be hauled away without hesitation. Even if you dealt with these issues, keep in mind that a thorough cleaning doesn’t get rid of bugs or mould all the way through and they can still hide in the deeper layers of the mattress, so there’s still a chance for re-infestation.
Note that different charities may have different donation policies, so it’s best to get in touch with your local organization.
Note that some mattress recycling enterprises can donate the mattress for you as they review its condition. For example, the aforementioned Recycling Near You cleans the mattresses in a decent condition and then donates them to charities and homeless shelters. BedCollect also makes donations of slightly used mattresses to people in need.
#3: Re-Selling or Giving Away
One more way of old mattress disposal is re-selling it or giving it away to a certain person (instead of a charity).
Note that this applies mostly to slightly used mattresses. For example, if your trial period has ended and you found out that the mattress isn’t quite right for you, you definitely can re-sell it. Don’t re-sell mattresses with the pronounced signs of wear and tear.
Also, you can give a mattress away to your friend or relative.
#4: Hauling Away
Finally, you can dispose of a mattress just by hauling it away when you’re buying a new one. Some mattress companies can offer you a mattress disposal service where they just take away your old bed. And honestly, this is the second most preferred way to get rid of an old bed because you don’t have to do anything, except for paying a disposal fee.
Now, getting rid of an old mattress might seem a bit of a hassle but you have plenty of options to choose from: you can get in touch with a recycling enterprise and make sure that your mattress won’t end up in a landfill, you can donate it, re-sell it, or just give it away to someone.
And which of these options sounds like the best for you? let us know!
- Sustainability Victoria (n.d.). Mattress Recycling. Retrieved from https://www.sustainability.vic.gov.au/You-and-your-home/Waste-and-recycling/Furniture-and-household-items/Mattresses
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