Mattresses have always been a bit of a problem. Let’s face it, you’re not supposed to use the same mattress forever — but disposing of them is problematic. While California law also requires retailers that are delivering new mattresses to offer consumers the option to have a used mattress picked up at the time of delivery, at no additional cost, many times people are disposing of a mattress not because they are replacing it but simply because they are moving. Additionally, mattresses bought from online companies are not subject to these provision, and retailers can refuse to take back a used mattress if it poses a health or safety risk.
Generally you can’t donate mattresses, and they are cumbersome to take to the dump, not to mention most people remember the exorbitant fees previously charged to get rid of mattresses in years past.
But all that is changing as more people see the wisdom of recycling mattresses. The fabric, wood, steel and foam that makes up a mattress can be reclaimed or recycled, and that’s good news where this issue is concerned.
Better yet, new programs are providing mattress disposal at no charge to consumers.
The most prominent of these is Bye Bye Mattress, a program of the Mattress Recycling Council, which operates this program in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. So far, more than one million mattresses in the United States have been recycled in the three states, thanks to the nonprofit council.
The way it works is that consumers pay a mandatory recycling fee upfront when they purchase a new mattress, which funds the BBM program. This money goes towards the picking up of the existing mattress and the costs of disassembling and recycling of it.
Goodwill of Silicon Valley will actually give people a $3 reimbursement (limited to 5 units per person per day. Business/Large Volume drop-offs do not qualify for the reimbursement) for recycling your mattress. To find the facility nearest you, go to byebyemattress.com and enter your zip code.