Like most products, mattresses have a lifespan. By most estimates, this is around 7-10 years, depending upon their quality and how much you’ve cared for them. But what can you do with your old one when you no longer need it?
Giving it Away
If there is still life in the mattress then there are several charities, such as the British Heart Foundation (BHF), The Furniture Donation Network and the British Red Cross who will take it off your hands and give it a second life.
If the mattress has seen better days then another option is to have it recycled. Recycling has become a normal part of our everyday lives in recent years. We have all become adept at sorting our rubbish into our various bins. As a result, in the UK last year 45 per cent of all household waste was recycled. But when it comes to mattresses, it’s a very different picture.
In 2017, of the 5.3 million mattresses replaced only 1.4 million were sent for component recycling/re-using. Although that figure is a significant improvement on the picture a decade ago, it remains small compared to household recycling figures.
Sussex Beds Recycle/Re-use Disposal Service
For just £20 per item, Sussex Beds offer full removal at the time of delivery, after which the old mattress is taken to Matt UK’s site to be broken down for recycling.
‘We are really proud to be one of the only bed retailers who can honestly say that 100 per cent of beds and mattresses we collect are recycled/re-used. Nothing ends up in landfill!’ says Steve Pickering, Managing Director of Sussex Beds.
Recycling a Mattress
And that’s a shame because mattresses are jam-packed with all kinds of recyclable material. Sussex Beds send all of their mattresses to Chatham-based Matt UK. They recycle/re-use 100 per cent of the mattresses they are given, extract and re-use the following:
● Metal Springs: These are melted down and cast back into new metal products. This is done in the UK (saving carbon miles).
● Foam: This is sent to a number of countries for carpet underlay and also to others as a product that can help sustain grass in hot countries (through its moisture retention properties).
● Polyester: This is re-fibred and put back into pet bedding. This is also kept within the UK (saving carbon miles).
● The remaining parts of the mattress are shredded and blended with materials to make a product called Refuse Derived Fuel. This is bailed and shipped to Sweden, for Waste to Energy.