Mattress Recycling

Mattresses can be dangerous to the environment when they are thrown in landfills. They create flammable air pockets and also can absorb hazardous chemicals that are harmful to the Earth. Furthermore, mattresses are not biodegradable and take up a major amount of landfill area.

Recyclable and Renewable Mattress Materials

Steel Innersprings
According to ISPA (International Sleep Products Association), the “Voice of the Mattress Industry,” most of the materials used in these Innersprings are composed of recycled steel material. As soon as the rest of the mattress is discarded, these springs can be recycled again.

Mattress Foam
The foam used in mattresses is often made of organic materials such as soy, castor beans, and other natural oil sources. In addition, most latex foams are composed of plant-based latex, a renewable source of latex. These foams can be ground up and recycled into a variety of useful things such as the padding under wall-to-wall carpet.

Foundation/Box Spring Wood
The wood used in the foundation and box spring of your mattress is generally composed of the discarded wood of non-endangered tree species from renewable forests. ISPA explains that, “no trees are cut just to make box spring/foundation wood. In fact, the trees are cut to make construction lumber (for homes and other buildings) and pulp for paper making. The wood used for box springs/foundations is then made from those parts of a tree that cannot be used for construction lumber.” Once recycled, this wood has many uses ranging from biomass fuel to animal bedding.

Most of the fabrics used in mattresses are composed of renewable plant and animal fibers. These include cotton, wool, silk, and even rayon, which is made from cellulosic plant fibers.

In addition to re-purposing and recycling many of the mattress and box spring materials, the
additional benefits of mattress recycling include:

  • Reduces greenhouse gasses. 10,000 mattresses equates to approximately 125 tons of steel, 20 tons of wood and 15 tons of foam.
    Recycling this material saves 239 tons of CO2, the equivalent of planting 373 trees or taking 40 cars off the road for a year.
  • Reduces taxes and fees for waste disposal.
  • Offers higher financial incentive as an alternative to landfills.
  • Helps preserve heavy equipment used in landfill operations as the springs from mattresses are hard on this equipment.