Posted on September 16, 2017 by
Responsible mattress disposal and mattress recycling in the UK is a significant concern for environmentally-conscious households and businesses. Whilst it’s desirable that options for disposing of an unwanted or end-of-life mattress should automatically (and easily) include possibilities for recycling, it is often the case that recycling services are difficult to access.
Local council collections
We’d all like to assume that, by using and paying for our local authority’s bulky waste collection services to remove mattresses and beds, we are ensuring that our mattresses are recycled rather than dumped into landfill. Unfortunately, the truth is that many mattresses disposed of through bulky waste collections still do not make it as far as a recycling centre.
This is because, as highlighted at 2016’s Textile Recycling Conference, many local authorities do not have access to cost-effective facilities for stripping and segregating recyclable textiles and so it’s still cheaper and easier for those local authorities to let the loads languish in landfill. This is despite the charges on councils for disposing of bulky waste into landfill.
It can also be quite difficult for households to find out if their beds and mattresses, collected via council bulky waste services, will be recycled or not as very few council websites actually indicate exactly how mattresses collected this way will be disposed of. In any case, the charges for collection can be easily seen using the council charges map hosted on Collect Your Old Bed.
The DIY approach to recycling mattresses
As a result of these costs, many households and businesses decide to take the DIY approach to ensure responsible recycling of unwanted mattresses.
- DIY: self-transportation to a dedicated recycling facility
This method is great if you have appropriately sized transport and access to a dedicated recycling facility. Though this may not be easy to organise for all household, especially as there may not be a recycling facility within a suitable distance.
- DIY: reuse by passing on
Passing on an unwanted but still usable bed and mattress to someone who could make use of it is the best route for DIY recycling. Many charities such as British Heart Foundation are very happy to receive unwanted beds and mattresses and they will collect free of charge. However charities do, quite rightly, have stringent requirements for the condition of mattresses, so that standards of health and hygiene can be assured. A minimum requirement is usually that mattresses must be of a good, clean condition and will still have their fire label attached.
The professional approach to recycling mattresses – going private
Finally, another effective option for recycling an unwanted mattress can be by making use of a readily available and recycling-assured alternative to council or DIY disposal – using a professional mattress collection and recycling service. For full assurance that mattresses will be ethically disposed of by recycling, choose a licensed company which offers 100% recycling guarantees. Companies such as Collect Your Old Bed will happily offer evidence of licensing and recycling is assured even if there are no recycling plants in your own locality.
Providing an easy process for arranging collection, professional private services for mattress recycling offer another way to ensure responsible disposal of unwanted mattresses and beds.