Mattress Recycling

Why would a landfill not want to bury mattress?

  • Mattress are recyclable and recyclables should be recycled.
  • Burying recyclables is against the environmental ethic of most landfills.
  • The indirect and long-term costs of burying mattresses are quite significant.
  • Mattresses consume a significant amount of landfill space.

Why would a landfill want to bury mattresses?

  1. Burying mattresses is just normal operations and always has been.
  2. Establishing a protocol to manage mattresses separate from waste adds another burden to landfill operations.
  3. Landfill customers may complain or, where feasible, even take their business to another landfill if required to manage mattresses differently from waste.
  4. It’s hard to accurately measure indirect and long-term mattress cost savings over immediate profits of burying them.

Why would community and sustainability leaders want to recycle mattresses?

  • Mattresses are recyclable and align with the environmental ethic of communities and most businesses.
  • Recycling, and particularly mattress recycling, shows environmental stewardship related to materials management, greenhouse gas reductions, and landfill space conservation.
  • Most charities don’t want old mattresses, so recycling is the best environmental option (see minute 1:25 on this 3-minute embedded video).
  • Mattress recycling has a valuable economic component when indirect and long-term costs are accurately measured and, in some cases, even offers a net financial gain.
  • Mattress recycling done right provides opportunities for the underemployed, “living wage” jobs and potential spin-off entrepreneurial opportunities.

What can community and sustainability leaders do to learn more about mattress recycling?

Contact the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources; and/or your local/state economic development department (i.e. Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation); and/or the Mattress Recycling Council; and/or take a look at this embedded video on mattress recycling to learn more. After reaching out to theses organizations ask them how they might help in recycling mattresses.

Information provided by ​7 Rivers Recycling