In this day and age care for the environment is more important than ever. Many countries take special complex measures to control waste accumulation all around the world. This is why disposing of old or non-serviceable mattresses is something you should approach in all seriousness and do correctly.
Most mattresses are made to last for years but sooner or later, they reach their limit and outlive their usefulness. Like many things, mattrasses “die”, in a manner of speaking. They get dirty, lose shape or certain properties, get smelly, and generally make your sleeping experience highly uncomfortable. What’s even worse, mattresses absorb moisture, which makes them a breeding ground for mold spores and all kinds of harmful bacteria. Damaged mattress springs are yet another hazard. So don’t think twice before saying goodbye to an old mattress.
What is a mattress's lifespan?
This type of injury involves a break or crack to at least one of the bones found in the pelvis. This can result in trouble with standing or walking and cause significant amounts of pain. Bleeding may occur since there are many large blood vessels close to the pelvis, and difficulty urinating is not uncommon. Thankfully this kind of injury is rare, making up only 0.3% of fractures in the United States in patients aged 15 to 28.
Men under 35 tend to experience this kind of injury more frequently than women. After this age women are more likely to experience a fractured pelvis. Elderly female patients are especially vulnerable due to issues with osteoporosis caused by the onset of menopause. During the recovery period you will be spending time with a physical therapist who will help you regain function, mobility, balance, and strength.
Types of mattresses and their lifespan:
- Innerspring mattresses
Innerspring mattresses include pocket sprung and open coil versions. Pocket sprung mattresses are usually the most durable versions; their average life span is 10 years. Open coil mattresses are the most affordable options but they last 2-3 years on average and get squeaky in time.
- Springless mattresses
Memory foam, gel memory foam, coconut coir mattresses can last for up to 12 years. They are highly durable and hypoallergenic.
- Hybrid mattresses
These mattresses have a pocket sprung system combined with fillers like foram, gel, or natural fibers. They last 10-12 years on average.
While most mattresses have a lifespan longer than determined by a manufacturer, it’s not recommended to use any mattresses longer than 15 years. By the end of a 15-year period, they just can’t provide any orthopedic support any longer and actually present a health hazard due to accumulated dust allergens produced by dust mites.
The signs that show it’s time to replace your mattress:
- springs cut through the fabric cover
- it sags and sinks
- your every move makes your mattress squeak
- there are mildew stains on the cover
- your mattress lost its shape
Disposing of your mattress: general rules
1. Don’t just take it to the closest dumpster and leave it there.
No matter how tempting it might be to follow the path of least resistance and just dump your old mattress at the place you usually take your garbage to, this solution is illegal and unsafe. Mattresses are an oversized bulky waste and they require special conditions of storage and disposal.
2. In case you have no desire to bother yourself with the issue of mattress disposal, hire professionals to do that.
If you’ve already got a brand new mattress and the old one is an eyesore, waiting isn’t an option. Contact one of the garbage and recycle companies in your area. For a reasonable fee, they will take any discarded bulky item away to a landfill or a recycling facility.
3. Don’t let your (or your neighbors’) kids play with old mattresses.
That’s one of the worst toys you can think of. If it’s a mattress with damaged springs, it might result in serious injuries. Besides, most mattresses are made of highly flammable materials.
4. Don’t try to burn it down on your own.
Contemporary foam or gel foam mattresses won’t burn entirely (they’ll need extremely high temperatures for that) and mattresses filled with synthetic fibers will give off harmful toxins.
Ways to ditch an old mattress
1. Take it apart and get rid of its parts separately.
Most of the materials you get after taking your old mattress apart are recyclable. You can take metal parts, like springs and frames, to one of the closest scrap metal recyclers. Old polyurethane foam filler can get a second chance at life after a renewal process.
2. Sell your old mattress for a reasonable price.
In case your old mattress is no older than 10 years and you decided to replace it with a new one because found a more contemporary version that fits your needs better, you can sell your old mattress for a token amount. Just post an ad on some bulletin boards of your choice.
3. Donate it.
Some non-profit charity organizations like shelters for homeless and animals will happily accept used mattresses of satisfactory quality.
The simple answer is you don’t just throw it out. Being a piece of an oversized bulky solid waste, your mattress will have to be disposed of correctly. Any attempts to throw it out at any random place are a hazard to the environment and might result in a substantial monetary penalty. You can take your old mattress to a landfill yourself or contact municipal garbage disposal authorities so they could do it for you.
There are a few ways to get rid of it, you just have to remember that simply dumping it near some garbage bins isn’t the right way to do that. First of all, you can contact your old mattress manufacturer. Many manufacturers offer disposal services, especially if you order new items from them. Second, contact a local garbage recycling company or garbage collecting company. They will help you dispose of oversized waste. Third, if it’s not too old and still in good shape, you can donate it or sell it for a small price.
If by dump you don’t mean a landfill, then no, you can’t. As it was stated before, taking your old mattress to a random town dump will lead to a world of troubles both for you personally and for the environment. Remember that your waste management must be responsible at all times.
It might surprise you how many organizations and companies will be actually interested in taking your old mattress away from you.
First of all, there are multiple mattress recycling companies that will offer disposal services for a reasonable fee. By the way, the company you bought your mattress from can offer that kind of service too, so it might be a good idea to contact them.
Second, there are lots of charity organizations, homeless shelters, animal shelters and the like, that will gratefully accept used mattresses as a donation and will even come to your doorstep to take it from you.
Third, there are municipal services for garbage disposal and disposing of bulky waste is one of their responsibilities. Contact them to learn how you can make it happen.