Massachusetts residents and businesses discard approximately 600,000 mattresses and box springs annually. These items are made up almost entirely of recyclable materials. Once disassembled, up to 95 percent of mattress components can be recycled.
At the same time, discarded mattresses and box springs can be notoriously difficult to manage. They are expensive to transport, take up a lot of space in landfills, are hard to compact, and can get caught in incinerator processing equipment. All of these factors result in higher disposal costs. So, recycling or reuse only makes sense.
Most mattress components are recyclable after simple disassembly and can be used in the manufacturing of a variety of new products:
Box Springs & Steel Inner-Springs (48%)
These materials are often already made from recycled scrap steel. Once the mattress is disassembled, the steel wire can again be recycled and made into new steel.
Mattress Foam (28%)
Polyurethane foam used in mattresses can be ground up, mixed with binders and formed into the foam padding used underneath wall- to-wall carpets and in other cushioning applications.
Box Spring Foundation Wood (5%)
After the box-spring is disassembled, the wood can be chipped and used as animal bedding, mulch or biomass fuel.
Fabrics & Fibers (14%)
A variety of fiber types can be found in recycled mattresses. Depending on the fiber, they may be recycled into industrial filters or padding materials.
- Donate to a Charity
Use the MassDEP Beyond the Bin Recycling Directory to find organizations near you that accept mattresses for disassembly and recycling or reuse.
- Ask if Your City or Town Has a Program
Call your local board of health or public works department to find out whether your municipality is enrolled in the MassDEP Mattress Recycling Incentive grant program, which subsidizes mattress recycling. See Sustainable Materials Recovery Program (SMRP) Municipal Grants for additional information.
- Use a Recycler on State Contract
Municipalities and certain public entities may use the FAC90 Statewide Carpet & Mattress Recycling Services Contract to select a vendor to either accept mattress on a per-unit basis or provide collection container rental and hauling. There are currently three mattress recyclers on this state contract:
- Ace Mattress Enterprises LLC (Price Per Unit: $10)
14 Clyde Street
West Warwick, RI 02893
Contact: Adriane Catlin, 401-640-2725
- Raw Material Recovery Corp. (Price Per Unit: $13)
461 West Broadway
Gardner, MA 01440
Contact: Debra Peloquin, 978-730-8266
- UTEC Inc. / United Teen Equality Center (Price Per Unit: $10)
35 Warren Street
Lowell, MA 01825
Contact: Ed Frechette, 978-856-3910
- Find a Commercial Mattress Recycler
RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts is free assistance program designed to help businesses and institutions maximize recycling, reuse and composting opportunities. Its web site includes a Recycling Provider Search for looking up companies that process a wide range of materials, including mattresses.