According to European Bedding Industry Association, up to 30 million mattresses annually reach their end of life and it is estimated that 60% end up in landfill and 40% are incinerated. However, it is reported that almost 85% of their mass can be recycled through proper disassembly.
The Sleep Council recommends you replace your mattress every seven years because after that time it will have been subjected to more than 20,000 hours of use or 2,555 nights of sleep. When you consider that adults lose an average of half a pint of fluid each night, and shed a pound of dead skin cells each year it might well be the right decision.
Replacing your Mattress
When it comes to buying a replacement mattress the cost can range anywhere between a few hundred and a few thousand euros, so you probably don’t want to spend much money to dispose of your old mattress. On top of that many households struggle with how best to dispose of old and unwanted mattresses.
Your local civic amenity site usually accepts old mattresses for recycling, but getting the mattress to the location can be a challenge in terms of time and cost. You’ll also need a vehicle big enough to fit a mattress.
If you have a car but your boot is too small to fit the mattress when flat, you might find that it fits if you roll the mattress up and fasten it with rope. This effort usually takes 2 people. You might also use a van to get your mattress to the civic amenity site/mattress recycling centre.
Mattress Recycling for Reuse
When you hand over your old mattress for recycling it will make its way to the specialist, mattress recycling facility in Ireland where most of the breakdown and separation work is done by hand. You will see the general steps in the below table.
|Mattress material||How it is recycled||What it is recycled into|
|Metal springs removed||Shipped and melted down for reuse||Construction / metal manufacturing material|
|Foam padding separated||Extracted/cleaned for reuse||Furniture stuffing, pillows, and carpet underlay|
|Spilt natural fibres (i.e. wool & cotton)||Washed and spun into new fibres||Insulation, new yarn, or other recycled textiles|
|Detach outer fabric||Stripped from mattress and shredded down||Low-grade fabric, refuse-derived fuel (renewable energy)|
Free Mattress Recycling
To help, Recycle IT offers a simple, convenient, sustainable and free solution over a number of weeks each year. Starting in late August 2022 our team will accept mattresses for recycling at no cost. They can be dropped off FREE too our recycling centre in Clondalkin, Dublin 22, Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 3.30pm. Help will be on hand to lift and move old mattresses from cars and vans to the mattress recycling colleciton point. We will also be open on a number of Saturday mornings (dates to be confirmed).
Recycle IT are happy to offer community collection events in the South Dublin County Council region. We are interested in hearing from housing estates, community groups or resident association members with an interest in offering this service in their area of South Dublin. As a dual recycling opportunity, we can offer electrical and mattress recycling collections on the same day.
We will be providing further information over the coming weeks including the start date for Mattress Recycling drop-off at Recycle IT in D22.
About Recycle IT
Recycle IT is an award-winning social enterprise providing recycling collection and drop-off services for all types of waste electrical, electronic equipment (WEEE) and pure metal items.
Recycle IT services are provided in partnership with WEEE Ireland. Recycle IT is supported by the Department of Rural and Community Development, Dormant Accounts Fund, Pobal, South Dublin County Council and authorized by the National Waste Collection Permit Office and the local authorities across Leinster.