Disposing of mattresses and box springs can be a problem because they are hard to move, clog up waste sorting equipment and are nearly impossible to compact in a landfill. Reuse or recycle mattresses and box springs instead – 90% of a mattress can be broken down and recycled.
Mattress Disposal Facts
Mattresses and box springs are difficult to recycle, and few recycling options are available.
• In Minnesota, nearly 700,000 mattresses are discarded each year, with a total weight of 3.85 million pounds.
• Expected life span for a mattress is 10.8 years.
• Disassembled, a mattress consists of steel (55%), polyurethane foam (10%), cotton/felt (25%), and wood (10%).
• Because of their bulky nature, mattresses and box springs consume a greater amount of landfill space than ordinary household trash and create equipment maintenance problems for landfill operators. As a result, valuable landfill space is lost and operating expenses increase.
Mattress Recycling Locations
Clean mattresses and box springs are accepted for recycling at the following locations:
- Lyon County Public Works (Marshall)
- Lyon County Regional Landfill (Lynd)
- Cottonwood County Landfill
- Yellow Medicine County HHW (Clarkfield)
- Some garbage haulers may accept mattresses for a fee; contact your hauler for information.
- Contact your city recycling coordinator for information about seasonal events.
Contact Your local Solid Waste Administrator to find out other recycling locations.
Mattress Recycling Breakdown
Materials recovered from mattresses can be put to productive use:
• Metal (30%) Steel is used to manufacture new steel products.
• Wood (23%) is shredded to provide mulch or composted.
• Polyfoam (10%) is used to manufacture high-end carpet pads.
• Polypad (4%) from mattress covers or “toppers” (foam sewn to cover) are used to make low-end carpet pads.
• Cotton stuffing (15%) can be used as filler for packaging, shipping pads, wall insulation and road noise abatement material in vehicles, though this material has been difficult to market in Minnesota.
• About 18% of processed mattresses and box springs goes into the garbage.