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How to Recycle Mattresses

How to Recycle Mattresses

Mattresses are the most common item discarded for council collection – up to 1.25 million contribute to landfill every year and there is no reason for this to be the case.

Mattresses contain wood, metal, foam and cotton – all of these materials are recyclable. It is also true that mattresses can harbour dust, mites, bacteria and other such substances and as such, have to be treated carefully.

There are numerous mattress collection companies in Australia who you can call or book a collection online. Fees are generally around $30 - $50. Mattresses aren’t typically reused, but tend to be either refurbished or the materials reclaimed and recycled. 

When you buy a new mattress, many mattress retailers will either take an old mattress on delivery of a new one or refer you to someone like Landsavers.
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Science Notes
An average mattress contains 12.5kg of steel, 2kg of wood and 1.5kg of foam and (sorry to tell you), a kg or two of shed skin, perspiration, dust mites and dust mite faeces. Interestingly, people who are allergic to dust mites are actually allergic to the droppings – that is what actually causes the allergic response.

Mattresses are either deconstructed or can be sanitised and refurbished for resale. There are a number of excellent organisations like Soft Landing (Mission Australia) doing just that. Others organisations break down the component parts and reuse them as carpet backing etc.

Related Tip
If you want to be sure your mattress isn't harbouring mites, bacteria or fungus, get a washable cover and wash it weekly at 60 degrees celsius or higher.