It happens to everyone. You’ve just bought a new mattress and box springs. Now the question is what do you do with the old ones?
Of course, you can drag them to the curb and call your waste hauler to truck them off to the landfill, which is what most people wind up doing. That’s why between 20 million and 40 million mattresses nationwide wind up in landfills every year. In Boulder County, as many as 30,000 mattresses are thrown away annually.
But dumping mattresses in landfills is not a great idea. For one thing, mattresses cannot be compacted and don’t stay buried, not to mention the recyclable scrap metal and other reusable materials that are wasted.
Now there’s a better option. You can responsibly recycle your old mattress and box spring sets (futons also) at the Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials, we call it the CHaRM for short, at 6400 Arapahoe Road in Boulder.
The benefits of recycling mattresses are considerable.
Roughly 90 percent of the materials are recycled or reused saving natural resources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Jobs are created locally for people who getting back on their feet following recovery from addiction and/or a brush with the law and are hard-to-employ.
What happens to your mattress sets after you deposit them at the CHaRM? Eco-Cycle has partnered with nonprofit Springback Colorado in Denver to take them. Springback’s mission is to hire people who may be marginalized in their communities to disassemble and process them. Soft materials are then sold to businesses that make carpet pads and box springs are resold as scrap metal.
Springback also houses small start-ups, one of which makes dog beds from latex foam mattresses.
The CHaRM does charge a $35 fee for mattress sets and $17.50 for individual pieces, which is a bargain compared to some other options. Moldy mattresses and box springs are not accepted. Bed bugs infested items are accepted but must be sealed in plastic and closed prior to delivery. For more details, visit www.ecocycle.org/charm
KGNU will bring you recycling tips and covering zero waste issues throughout the year in partnership with Eco-Cycle, thanks to a grant from Boulder County.