What Do I Do with My Old Mattress?
From glass bottles and plastic containers to cardboard boxes and old newspapers, most of us know how to recycle our household waste, but what about disposing of other unwanted items such as mattresses?
For bulky products made from multiple materials, like mattresses, taking them to or hiring a skip might seem like the simple solution, but it is contributing to a growing problem. The UK currently produces around 26m tonnes of waste, and despite our rising eco-awareness, an estimated 14m tonnes is still being sent to landfill sites.
Fly-tipping is also a common problem, with household items illegally dumped on open land or beside roads. In 2016 to 2017, the removal of fly-tipping waste cost £58 million, not to mention its unsightly appearance. Anyone caught fly-tipping can also face prosecution under UK law.
Thankfully, recent innovations mean that most mattresses can be repurposed, with companies including The Waste Team offering combined collection and recycling services to customers.
Why Should I Recycle My Mattress?
Did you know that during our lifetimes, we’ll spend around 26 years in bed? It’s little wonder that 7.26m replacement mattresses were purchased in 2017, but only 1.363m of unwanted mattresses were recycled. However, with more options becoming available for recycling mattresses and other home items, this figure will hopefully increase.
The Sleep Council suggest buying a new mattress every seven years, though better models can last for up to ten. Dumping, fly-tipping and setting fire to old mattresses may seem like easier options, but they can harm both the environment and human health, as well as potentially breaking the law.
How Are Mattresses Recycled?
After your old mattress has been collected by The Waste Team and we separate the parts, each material undergoes a different recycling process. Here’s a quick guide to some of the ways your mattress can be reused:
- The metal springs can be melted down and recast into light iron products.
- The foam padding can either be used in waste-to-energy plants or repurposed in the production of industrial carpet underlay.
- The polyester wadding common in many mattresses can be used in various manufacturing processes including as stuffing for pet cushions.
- While low-grade fabrics often used in mattress covers are hard to recycle, some can be changed into energy for use in waste processing as an alternative to fossil fuels.
Mattress Recycling in Leeds
For homeowners in and around Leeds, The Waste Team can remove and recycle your mattress the easy way. Simply visit our website or give us a call for your free quote, select the most convenient date and time, then leave it to our professional and friendly team to collect your unwanted items.
Getting rid of multiple mattresses and other products in a house clearance? No problem – we can pick them up in one collection, so you don’t need to worry about heavy lifting or finding a skip. And as we recycle 90% of collected waste, you can rest assured your items won’t harm the planet.