Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Ask The Green Miles: Mattress Disposal

January 5, 2012 Inmates at the Hutchinson, Kan., Correctional Facility disassemble a mattress for recyclingHere's a question that cuts to the core of me, Baxter:
Do you have any ideas on mattress disposal?
You see, I recently bought a new mattress when I didn't really need to ... and trying to get rid of the old one made me wish I'd held onto it a little longer.

Goodwill & similar organizations won't accept used bedding for fear of bedbugs. Putting it on Craigslist only got me emails from scammers. I spent a week looking for a way to keep it out of the incinerator with no luck.

"There are some awesome mattress recycling facilities ... but unfortunately not in this area," says Allison Lohrenz, the solid waste programs coordinator here in Falls Church. "Cross your fingers that one will be here soon!"

Right now, mattress recycling is limited to local efforts & special events (and special events aren't so great for people who live in apartments & don't have a basement to stick their old mattress in until the next recycling event comes around). Grist's Ask Umbra points to some hope for mattresses in Massachusetts:
Massachusetts is home to one of the nation’s few mattress recyclers, and another outfit is venturing into New England soon. It’s amazing what happens to your mattress: the wood is chipped for energy, the steel springs recycled, the cotton and foam used for insulation or other textile needs.
You should email your local elected officials & recycling coordinator and ask them to support bringing a mattress recycling program to your area ... but in the short term, your mattress is most likely heading for the landfill or an incinerator.

Got a cool mattress recycling program in your area (or an alternate idea for what to do with your old mattress)? Let us know in the comments section.
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