If you’ve never had the esteemed honor of disposing an old mattress, you’re in for a big surprise. The bed mattress is the most difficult household item to get rid of. Unlike regular furniture, mattresses can carry a myriad of unsafe germs, such as dust mites and bedbugs. Due to the liability of selling a used, unclean mattress, most thrift shops are either not allowed, or simply choose NOT to accept mattresses for resale.
Not only do thrift stores want no part of your dirty old mattress, but you’d be lucky to find a landfill that will let you in, even for a fee. For one, mattresses are difficult to recycle, and spring/coil mattresses can easily cause damage to landfill machinery. Even conventional non-spring mattresses, such as cotton batting and memory foam, contain toxins and chemicals that can inhabit the ground water below the landfill.
That’s why it’s not uncommon to spot abandoned mattresses along the side of a highway, neighborhood sidewalks or random alleyways.
But don’t be discouraged. It might seem like an impossible task, but there are clean, ethical and even profitable ways to get rid of your mattress.
1. Start with the People You Know
When it comes to giving furniture away, the best place to start is with the people you know. Ask your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Chances are, someone you know is currently spending their uncomfortable nights on an air mattress or sofa, and eager to upgrade to an actual bed. If that doesn’t work, use social networking sites like Facebook to get your word out. Announce to everyone that you’re giving away a perfectly fine mattress. People always love free stuff, and they’re willing to drive over as fast as possible to take it off your hands.
2. Shelters and non-profit organizations
While thrift stores and secondhand shops might be out of the question, non-profits such as homeless shelters, churches and refugee resettlement programs are eager to accept any and all donations, especially mattresses. Nothing makes a shelter more prominent than a reliable mattress, even one that’s used.
If you’re looking to try and turn a profit with your mattress, there’s no better place than Craigslist. This classified advertisement website is devoted to getting your stuff sold, no matter what you’re selling. Depending on the quality of your mattress, you can make an easy buck, but to help your chances, you may want to look into buying a mattress protector to ensure that the person buying your mattress feels like he/she is getting the most protection and quality out of the mattress you’re offering.
4. Contact Your Local Recycling Center
About ninety percent of the average mattress can be recovered for recycling, which makes recycling centers a far better alternative than regular disposal. However, since they consist of a wide variety of materials, your mattress must be dismantled before it can be properly recycled. Your local recycling center may be willing to do this job for you, but in case you’re forced to take apart your own mattress, there are many DIY tutorials online.
Conservation and reuse can go a long way, especially when you’re giving straight to someone in need. Offering your used mattress on www.freecycle.com is a perfect way to keep your useful items out of the landfills and in the hands of someone who can still benefit from it. Moderated by local volunteers, it’s free to sign up, and you can post a listing in just a small matter of minutes!