Do you want to opt for an ecologically sound way of disposing of your mattress? Believe it or not, millions of mattresses are dumped into Australian landfills every year. So, what is the solution? In this mattress disposal guide for Australian homeowners, you will get a detailed insight into the various mattress discarding methods.
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These include resorting to local mattress disposal programs, hiring a skip bin, or selling the old mattress to earn a few dollars!
Before going ahead with the ‘how’, let us look at the ‘why’.
Why Manage Mattress Disposal?
You may have certainly gotten the idea of dumping your worn-out mattress in your community bin. Other than that, you may have thought of leaving it outside, with the hope that trash pickers would deal with it. However, that is not the best way of disposing of a mattress.
As a matter of fact, you may be adding to the already sky-high levels of pollutants harming the environment. Here’s why.
- The mattress may land up in a landfill that can cause some severe damage to the environment by producing greenhouse gases.
- If your mattress gets burnt for disposal, it will release harmful chemicals into the air—formaldehyde, flame retardants, phthalates, etc.
- The waste or landfill residue often blends with soil and the local water bodies. Resultantly, it can severely affect animal and human health.
These are just some of the multiple drastic impacts that may occur as a result of improper mattress disposal.
How Does Mattress Recycling Work?
Mattresses are made of a plethora of materials including steel springs, polyester, cotton, and other synthetic materials. That is why they require a proper distribution of each of these materials, which can then be disposed of accordingly.
There are several companies (discussed in the following sections) that take up mattress recycling in Australia. These organisations follow multiple ways that help in processing 75% of the materials of a mattress to make them suitable for reuse.
These practices ensure maximum recovery of resources, leading to minimum waste disposal into landfills. The materials that are recycled out of a mattress include but are not limited to:
Steel springs: A mattress contains almost 10% of metal, mostly alloy steel or other similar steel types. After extracting it from a discarded mattress, the recycling units either sell it to specific steel recycling companies or process it themselves.
The recyclers then melt the steel and use it for manufacturing new products including roof sheeting, nuts and bolts, etc.
Timber and husk: Wood is a highly significant material and can be put to great use even after recycled. A worker may extract the timber and sell it either to wood chippers or use it as a source of fuel.
Several recyclers can process and clean the wood to remove nails, insects, etc. and resell it for manufacturing furniture. Wood smiths can also use this wood to create wooden floors and multiple other pieces of equipment.
The husk that you may find in a mattress is actually coconut husk and is entirely organic. Therefore, it has a multitude of uses, even after recycling. Manufacturers can use husk for making carpets, rugs, fuel, and other household products.
Foam: Foam constitutes for almost 10% of your mattress, which is not too much. Still, it is enough for recycling units to convert them into usable products. Such organisations shred the foam and sell it to manufacturers, who then produce carpet underlay and other stuffing.
Textile: The top portion of a mattress is mostly textile, such as cotton. During the process of mattress recycling, firms often sell the fabric to other units or process the materials themselves.
Irrespective of its type, textile has the potential of being recycled as its threads can be pulled out for reuse. The manufacturers use it for producing and re-weaving new garments, blankets, stuffing, etc.
Isn’t it interesting to learn how a useless piece of bedding may have so many great uses!
6 Mattress Disposal Ways for Australian Homeowners
Whether you are moving out or purchasing a new mattress, it is essential to choose eco-friendly mattress disposal ways. Are you wondering how to get rid of a mattress in Australia? Here are some methods that you can opt for without much hassle.
If you choose to dump off a mattress in a landfill, it will probably sit there for years. As mentioned earlier, recycling will not only help the environment but also help in reusing its materials. Here comes the question, how to recycle a mattress.
Recycling Program: One of the easiest ways of recycling your mattress is by looking for a recycling program near you. Multiple cities offer schemes and services to help you get rid of your old mattress without harming nature.
Soft Landing is one of the top non-profit recycling services that operate in Victoria, Western Australia, ACT, and NSW. To get your mattress recycled, you can book an appoint on their website. Their team will pick up the mattress on your assigned date, at a small fee.
Mattress Retailer: When you purchase a new mattress, you must ask the retailer if they could dispose of for you. Several mattress stores offer schemes such as handling mattress disposal, replacing old with a new one on discount, and more. You might as well find a mattress store that runs recycling programs.
Reach Out to Your Local Council: Many Australian city councils offer pick-up services to collect your mattress for recycling. The City of Sydney is one such example. You can book an appointment with these services and get your mattress recycled for FREE.
Most city and state councils offer such services. Checking at your council website for the same before hiring a service is always a wise idea.
If your mattress is in a usable condition, you may consider donating it to a needy individual. You can do so by reaching out to a nearby charity or the city council. These organisations will then inspect and donate it to a family in need if it is in a good state. Contacting the Green Shed is also a good option.
In most cases, the respective organisation will pick up the mattress from your home. Alternatively, you may choose to drop it at their facility.
Do you want to make a few dollars from your old mattress? Why not sell it off! There are a plethora of websites to post an ad for selling a secondhand mattress. For example:
- Cash Converters
- Facebook (groups)
Before posting your ad, make sure that your mattress is in good condition and is worth being used.
4. Skip Bin
If you want to get rid of your mattress without any extra running, hiring a skip bin is a good idea. You will easily find a skip for hire near you and make a booking online. These services often resort to recycling your disposed mattresses, instead of dumping them on landfills.
5. Break it down
You may be sceptical about choosing this method, but it is totally worth it. You can actually deconstruct your mattress all by yourself right at your home. Much to your surprise, it is a relatively easy task.
Once you break it down, you can use all its construction materials to make several DIY items. Isn’t that a cost-effective solution? Here’s how to do it.
- Wire clippers
- Storage boxes or bags
- Saw (in case of box spring frame)
Step-by-Step Guide to Deconstructing Mattress
Step 1: With a utility knife, cut the cord running at the edges of your mattress on both sides.
Step 2: Pull off the mattress sides and set them apart.
Step 3: Peel of the fabric from the top of the mattress. You may have to remove staples or cut of threads for complete removal.
Step 4: Wear your gloves and collect the foam padding. You may place it in the storage boxes or bags.
Step 5: Remove the remaining layers of foam and fabric similarly.
Step 6: Cut off the layer of springs with the help of pliers. It is the trickiest part of the entire process. Make sure you are ultra-careful at this step.
Voila! Your mattress is deconstructed, and the materials are ready for your DIY projects.
Note: In case you have a box spring mattress, you will need to de-nail and cut the wood after removing the fibre and foam.
- Create a bed for your pet with the foam
- Use the springs to make wall hangings, scones, Christmas ornaments, etc.
- Stuff the foam, cotton, or fabric to make cushions
- Use the foam for insulating your home
- Sell off the materials at their respective recycling units
6. Mattress Disposal Service
Similar to skip bin, you can hire a service to dispose of your mattress. However, in this case, you need not worry about loading the bedding into the container. The service team will take care of the entire process.
Factors to Consider While Choosing a Mattress Disposal Service
You can easily access the details of multiple mattress disposal services near you on the internet. Therefore, making a quick comparison is always a wise option. Here are things to look into while hiring a mattress disposal service.
Cost: You may have to pay a minimal fee to the service handling your mattress disposal. Therefore, it is essential to compare at least 4-5 of them to get the most budget-friendly option.
Collection Procedure: You do not want to go all the way to their facility to drop-off the mattress. That is the reason you chose this option in the first place. So, you must make sure that the service you are planning to hire offers a pick-up.
Disposal Process: Your job does not end with your mattress taking off. As a responsible citizen, you must ensure that it is getting disposed of in an eco-friendly way. A few options that you must look for are recycling and donating.
Benefits of Mattress Disposal Management
Throwing your mattress outright is certainly not a good option. Apart from harming the environment, it can also create multiple health problems. On the contrary, if you choose to dispose of mattress responsibly, here are its benefits.
- Create Employment Opportunities: Multiple labourers cannot bag a job due to fewer options. Waste disposal services and recycling units are ways of offering a plethora of job opportunities for the unemployed.
- Minimise Environmental Footprint: Recycling and proper treating of the mattress can help minimize your footprint on the environment. It is a small step to take towards sustainability.
- Abide by the Laws: Leaving mattress in your community dumpster or outside your house may be considered illegal. If you choose to use a proper disposal system, you are abiding by the Australian laws.
Do’s and Don’ts of Mattress Disposal in Australia
- If your mattress has bed bugs, cover it with plastic and paste a note explaining the same. That is, irrespective of the disposal options that you choose.
- Consider reselling and donating only if the mattress does not have holes, large stains, bed bugs.
- Vacuum and clean the mattress before handing it over to any service personnel.
- Dump the mattress illegally on empty land, community area, etc.
- Burn the mattress (it may irritate the eyes, skin, mouth, throat, and rashes, etc.)
- Donate a mattress with bed bugs
Mattress disposal may be easy, but it is a task that you need to perform with responsibility. The best ways of disposing of your worn mattress are giving it to recycling units. Alternatively, you may choose to sell or donate the bedding piece if it is in a usable state.
To ensure your mattress does not end in a landfill, you must consider while choosing the disposal service. Also, do not dispose of it off illegally, to prevent any repercussions. Lastly, you can opt for deconstructing your mattress and use its materials for various DIYs.
So, choose a sustainable mattress disposable method to ensure you are not among the contributors to damaging the environment!