How mattresses are recycled from start to finish

Two 1-800-GOT-JUNK? team members carrying a mattress

Mattress recycling takes time, effort, and dedication, but doing our part to dispose of a mattress responsibly adds up toward a sustainable future for us all. It’s a fascinating process that requires specialized machinery, labor, and extensive planning to transform old mattresses to get clean, recycled materials that can be used to create new products.

The mattress recycling process typically begins with the separation of different materials, like metal coils, wood frames, fabrics, or foam. These separated materials are then broken down and sent to specialized facilities that will refine or repurpose them into raw materials. The end result? The recycled materials can be used for new products. So, don't let your old mattress go to waste - consider recycling it instead!

What happens in a mattress recycling facility?

When mattresses arrive at a recycling facility, they are processed and dismantled to recover various components and materials for recycling or reuse.

Sorting: The mattresses are sorted according to their type, such as foam, innerspring, or hybrid mattresses. This allows for efficient handling and processing of different materials.

Dismantling: The mattresses are then disassembled to separate their various components. This typically involves using tools to cut through the fabric and remove the outer layers, such as the cover, padding, and foam.

Breaking down the parts - dismantling and sorting

To separate the materials of a mattress effectively, a trained technician is needed to carefully cut and tear the mattress apart. The goal here is to separate the steel, foam, and fabric without accidentally creating non-recyclable waste, so precision is key during this part of the recycling process.

Once the materials are sorted, there are two options. They can be sent to specialized facilities to be refined into raw materials which will then be used in building new products, or they can be repurposed for products or other production processes that need those materials.

  • Metal coils

    The metal coils from old mattresses are typically made from steel, which is a valuable material to recycle. The metal is processed by being melted down and refined to create new products like appliances, cars, and even new mattresses.

  • Wood box springs

    Recycling the wood in box springs involves separating out the wood pieces to be chipped into small, manageable pieces that can be used for a variety of purposes. Some common uses include creating mulch for landscaping, fuel for energy generation, or even as raw material for the production of particle board.

  • Fabrics

    Recycling centers will typically separate cotton, polyester, and other mattress fabrics and run them through a shredder to break these fabrics down into smaller pieces. These pieces are then processed and used to create various new items, such as insulation or even new clothing.

  • Foam

    Foam can be reused or recycled to create a variety of new products. For example, it can be shredded and reused as insulation, carpet padding, or even animal bedding.

  • Other materials

    Did you know that some box springs use coconut husks in their production? Once separated from other materials, these coconut husks can be repurposed into new, eco-friendly products such as a form of peat used to grow plants in home gardens or on farms!

  • Non-recyclable components

    Some mattress components like plastic or adhesives may not be easily recyclable. These materials are disposed of following local regulations and waste management practices.

How you can get your old mattress to a recycling facility

If you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to dispose of your old mattress, there’s no question that a recycling center is the best way to ensure your mattress is disposed of responsibly. To do this, you can arrange to haul your old mattress to a designated recycling facility yourself, or alternatively, if you don't have the means to transport your unwanted mattress, consider calling a professional Junk Removal Service like 1-800-GOT-JUNK? to take care of it for you. We do the heavy lifting and hauling for you, so you can save your time and energy knowing your old mattress is being disposed of responsibly and sustainably. Call us today to book your mattress recycling pick up!

If you have any questions on mattress recycling, check out our FAQ blog post.

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