It is #RecycleWeek, but why would an organisation that’s all about beds be talking to you about recycling?
Did you know only about 20% of mattresses are recycled? Far too many end up in landfill sites that could have been recycled or re-used. Not only is this bad for the environment, but given how bulky mattresses are, it’s also unsustainable.
The National Bed Federation (NBF) estimates that the number of replacement mattresses in the UK in 2017 was 5.3 million units, but that less than 20% of those were being recycled! As such, the NBF’s Circular Economy Committee has set an ambitious target for this to be 75% by 2028.
So, how can you recycle your old mattress?
Avoid taking your old mattress to your local tip, where it could end up in the landfill. Take the time to find your nearest recycling facility that will strip it down into its parts for re-use.
Alternatively, organise for a specialist disposal company to come to collect it from your house. We know of two private collection services, CollectYourOldBed.com and Wearemattressrecycling.co.uk, that guarantee to send your old mattress to a recycling centre. They operate throughout England and Wales in most postcodes. Charges are dependent on your area and size of bed but expect to pay around £40 – £50 for a standard-sized double mattress.
For people living in London and the Southeast, the solution could be just a few clicks away! Check out Love Junk, an app-based marketplace for bulky waste disposal, including mattresses, that connects people to their cheapest available licensed waste collector or re-use organisation.
Be wary of people in white vans offering to pick your mattress up for free or at a bargain price. Rogue traders may take your old mattress and stuff it into a new cover to re-sell or fly-tip it at a convenient spot. Read more about how to avoid mattress scams.
Buy a new mattress made from recyclable materials
If you’re yet to buy your new bed, do some research on bed manufacturers that are doing their bit for the planet. Some companies produce mattresses and bed products that contain recyclable and even recycled fillings and materials.
The NBF monitors the rate of UK mattress recycling and works hard to guide manufacturers on selling used and reconditioned mattresses and components.
Buying from an NBF approved brand means they have robust procedures to ensure their products are safe, clean and honest, and comply with UK regulations on safety, cleanliness of fillings, and trade descriptions.
Get the most out of your mattress
One of the best ways to make sure you get the most out of your mattress and ensure it reaches its lifespan (usually seven – eight years!) is by taking good care of it. Read more about how to care for your mattress and bed, including how to clean any stains, in our Bed Buyers’ Guide.