14 Jan 2021
how to dispose of a mattress

It is recommended that you should replace your mattress roughly every 8 years, which leads to a lot of mattresses getting thrown out, sold or moved on. It is estimated that in the UK more than 7 million mattresses are disposed of each year and unfortunately only 16% of those are recycled. In fact, mattresses are one of the most fly tipped items across the UK.

If you’ve recently treated yourself to a new mattress for a more comfortable night’s sleep, you might be wondering to yourself: ‘What do I do with my old one?’. In this article we will explore the options available to you when looking to dispose of an old mattress.

Can your mattress be recycled?

It’s often assumed that mattresses cannot be recycled. Mattresses are made of up various forms of foam, latex and metal or steel springs, it’s not as simple a process as some people may think and can become very time consuming. As a result, it can be a costly process but mattress recycling is becoming more popular throughout the UK as more companies join the mattress recycling process.

Springs can be removed from the mattress and melted down to make other products from the metal, whilst the foam has previously been used as carpet underlay and filling for teddies etc. The fabric material within the mattress will normally be used as RDF (fuel in an energy-to-waste facility). This process is mainly carried out by hand, and is therefore relatively labour intensive which results in a higher cost to the customer.

Sometimes the company that is delivering your new bed will take away your old mattress, typically for an extra cost. Take your time to check the terms and conditions if you choose this option, which should highlight their process for recycling your old mattress.

Man & Van rubbish collection companies can remove your old mattress to a recycling facility for a fee, but it is important to make sure you know where your mattress is going to end up before hiring such a company – you don’t want to end up on the wrong side of the law if you item happens to be fly tipped. Make sure the company you choose is a reputable and licensed waste carrier.

Alternative Mattress Disposal Options

You might also want to explore some alternative options for passing on your mattress. These might include:

  • Selling your mattress – If it is still in good condition you could sell it to a friend, or online using a service such as Ebay, Gumtree or Preloved
  • Donating it to charity shops or a homeless shelter – Contact a few of your local charities to see if they accept and sell mattresses. They might even offer free collection!
  • Take it to your local tip – If it isn’t good enough condition to give to a charity, you could take it to your local tip if you can get it there.
  • Put it in your skip – If you already have a skip, for instance if you are having work done on your home, you might want to dispose of it this way. Always check with your skip hire provider if this is allowed first. It is common to be charged a bit extra for mattress disposal, due to the complications involved with breaking it down.