how to dispose of a mattress

Mattress disposal guide

8 September 2020

Research suggests that mattresses have an average lifespan of eight years.  So if it’s out with the old and in with the new, here’s a simple guide to responsible mattress disposal.

  1. Reuse
  2. Retailer take-back scheme
  3. Take it to your local civic amenity site
  4. Council bulky waste collection
  5. Man & van mattress removal
  6. Hire a skip
  7. How are mattresses recycled?

1. Reuse

Firstly, if you want to donate or sell your mattress, you’ll need to check if your fire safety label is still intact as it won’t be accepted without it.  It will look like this:

It might be worth searching online if any local charities, organisations, homeless shelters or women’s refuges accept mattresses.  National organisations and charities such as the British Heart Foundation, Emmaus, British Red Cross and Furniture Donation Network are normally happy to take good quality, clean mattresses off your hands.  You could also give your mattress away for free on websites such as Freecycle and Freegle.

If you’re hoping to get a bit of cash back for your mattress, you can sell it online on websites such as Facebook Marketplace, Gumtree and Preloved.

 

2. Retailer take back schemes

Some mattress retailers offer their customers the option to dispose of their old mattress if they buy a new one through them.  This can incur a charge, but sometimes if you’re lucky, it’s free.

Retailer Price of collection & disposal Link
Bensons for Beds N/A N/A
Carpetright £40.00 https://www.carpetright.co.uk/bed-recycling-service
Casper £15.00* https://casper.com/uk/en/faqs/uk-orders-shipping/what-is-included-in-mattress-removal/
Dreams £25.00 – single

£35.00 – double

£40.00 – king & super king

https://www.dreams.co.uk/recycling-services
Emma £35.00 https://www.emma-mattress.co.uk/faq/collections/
Furniture Village £55.00 https://www.furniturevillage.co.uk/furniture-collection-service.html
IKEA £20.00 https://www.ikea.com/gb/en/customer-service/services/removal-recycling/
John Lewis £29.95 https://www.johnlewis.com/our-services/home-furnishings
Land of Beds £39.00 https://www.landofbeds.co.uk/removal-and-recycle
Mattress Man £25.00 https://www.mattressman.co.uk/delivery
Nectar £35.00 https://www.nectarsleep.co.uk/faq
Next £20.00 https://www.next.co.uk/style/es862657
Silent Night £30.00 https://www.silentnight.co.uk/environment

*only as part of a premium service

3. Take it to your local civic amenity site

Another mattress disposal option is to take it to your local civic amenity site, also known at the ‘tip’ or a household waste recycling centre (HWRC).

Other than donating your old mattress for free, this is often the cheapest disposal option because the majority of HWRC’s are free to use.  The only disadvantage of this disposal method is that you’ll need a car to get there and your closest centre may not be close to where you live, especially if you live in a rural area.  Also, fitting the mattress in the back of your car could be tricky depending on the size of your car and whether or not the mattress rolls up.

 

4. Council bulky waste collection

Householders also have the option to use their local council’s bulky waste service to collect and dispose of their mattress.  All councils provide this service but they do vary in how much they charge to collect bulky items.

While this option is usually cheaper than using a private waste removal company, it often takes the council longer to have your mattress picked up and they generally don’t accept as many different waste types.

 

5. Man and van mattress removal

If you need your mattress removed quickly, your best option is to use a private waste contractor as they have the fastest response times. If you’re London based, the easiest way to find a nearby licensed waste collector is with LoveJunk

6. Hire a skip

Mattresses are disposed of differently to general household waste, and as a result, some skip companies don’t accept them in skips or if they do, they charge extra (around £10-20) for the disposal.  It’s always worth checking with your skip provider first.  If you’re only disposing of a mattress, a skip isn’t the best option as it’d be cheaper and easier to use a man & van service to take it away.  However, if you have enough waste to fill a skip then it’s worth considering.  Check out this handy skip guide here.

 

7. How does mattress disposal and recycling work?

Research shows that mattresses are up to 95% recyclable but unfortunately, only 16% are recycled in the UK.  When mattresses make it to a recycling centre, they are taken apart and components such as the metal springs and foam padding are recycled.  These components can be used again to make a new product or even a new mattress.

If a mattress ends up in landfill, it will take over ten years to decompose and in the process, pollute the soil and groundwater.  This is why it’s really important for mattresses to be recycled or at the very least, they should be incinerated rather than end up in landfill.

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