mattress disposal guide

Mattress Disposal and Reuse Guide

6 January 2022

Mattress Disposal Guide

Some retailers recommend replacing your mattress every 8 years. So, if you think it’s time for a change and want to learn more about how to get rid of your old mattress, here is our ultimate guide on mattress disposal including removal and reuse options.

 

1. How does mattress disposal work
2. Mattress reuse options
3. Retailer take-back initiative
4. Take it to your local tip
5. Council bulky waste collection
6. Man and van mattress disposal
7. Skip hire
8. What happens to your mattress when it goes to the tip?

 

1. How does mattress disposal work?

When you dispose of a mattress and it ends up in a recycling centre, they are taken apart and the metal springs and foam padding are recycled. These components can then be used again to make a new product or even a new mattress.

 

2. Mattress reuse options

Firstly, if you want to donate or sell your mattress, you’ll need to check if your fire safety label (as seen below) is still intact as it won’t be accepted without it.


Local charities, homeless shelters and women’s refuges accept mattresses. There are also national organisations that are normally happy to take good quality, clean mattresses off your hands and donate to someone in need.

Below is a list of all the organisations that will take a mattress off your hands.

 

Table of organisations that reuse mattresses

Charity Link
BHF https://www.bhf.org.uk/
British Red Cross https://www.redcross.org.uk/shop/donating-items-to-our-charity-shops
Cancer Research UK arrange-a-collection
Emmaus donate
Mustard Tree https://mustardtree.org.uk/support-us/donate-goods/
The Salvation Army https://www.salvationarmy.org.uk/recycle
Stellas Voice UK https://stellasvoice.org.uk/shops
Shelter https://england.shelter.org.uk/support_us/shops/donate_to_a_shelter_shop

 

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 and Gumtree. However, you could also give your mattress away for free using platforms like Freecycle and Freegle. If you're considering reuse as an option, you might want to clean the mattress beforehand - here is a great article on how to clean your mattress.

 

3. Retailer take-back initiative

Some mattress retailers offer a retailer take-back scheme. This is where the retailer disposes of their old mattresses if they buy a new one through them. Sometimes a charge is incurred and other times it is free. Below is a table including average collection prices and links to retailers that offer this scheme. For an in-depth look into mattress removal prices, check out our blog.


Table showing collection prices and links to retailers for mattress disposal

Retailer Price of collection & disposal Link
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

4. Take it to your local tip

Taking your mattress to a household waste recycling centre (HWRC) is another option for mattress disposal, and most of them are free to use. The main disadvantage of this method is that you’ll need a mode of transport to get there. Also, mattresses are an awkward size, so fitting them in the back of your car could be tricky! If you are based in London, have a look at our guide to London rubbish tips, which include restrictions, charges, and an interactive map!

 

5. Your council bulky waste collection

Householders have the option to use their local council’s bulky waste service to collect and dispose of their mattresses. All councils provide this service, but they vary considerably in service and how much they charge for collecting bulky items. While this option is usually cheaper than using a private waste removal company, it is most likely that the council will take considerably longer to collect your mattress due to obvious time restrictions. For more information on council bulky waste prices, take a look at our comprehensive analysis of every region in England.

 

6. Man and van mattress disposal

If you need same-day rubbish removal, your best option is to use a private waste contractor as they are the most efficient. If you’re in London, the easiest way to find a nearby licensed waste collector is with LoveJunkWe use marketplace technology to match you to your nearest and cheapest fully insured and licensed waste collector with the capacity to collect any household bulky waste item. The average response time is within minutes.

7. Skip hire

This is only a viable option if you have enough waste to fill a skip or it'd be cheaper and easier to use a man & van service to take it away. It's worth noting that some skip companies don't accept mattresses in skips or if they do, they charge around £20 extra for the disposal. Check out our skip hire guide for more information.

 

8. What happens to your mattress when it goes to the tip?

When your mattress arrives at the tip it is taken apart, and components such as foam padding, metal springs and fibres are recycled. The challenge is that taking these component parts out and recycling the mattress is less cost-effective than sending them to landfill, which is both easier and cheaper. Ideally, mattresses would be prevented from going to landfill as they take up a lot of space and take more than ten years to decompose. 

TerraCycle is a recycling company that create programmes for hard-to-recycle waste. Below they explained why mattresses aren’t easy to recycle. “Generally, a mattress is composed of different materials such as springs/coils, foam and fabrics. Indeed, recycling a mattress requires deconstructing the actual mattress to reclaim such things as the springs/coils, foam and fabrics that can be reprocessed to make new items or used as insulation. For all these reasons, most of the councils in the UK send this type of waste to incineration or landfill.”

 

And finally...

Research shows that mattresses are up to 95% recyclable but unfortunately, only 16% are recycled in the UK. To find out more about mattress removal, check out our mattress recycling guide, covering average mattress removal prices and example jobs carried out by licensed waste collectors on the LoveJunk platform.

 

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