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Community & Culture

Dream Green this Earth Day – Mattress Recycling

I consider myself an environmentally conscious person. I recycle, along with about 35% of Americans, and do my best to conserve water and electricity in my personal life. I worry about the planet our children will inherit. Earth Day gives us an opportunity to reflect on this important issue and urge mankind to rise to the challenge of preserving our environment for generations to come.

Mattress Recycling - Helping To Keep The Earth Green

The mattress industry does not easily lend itself to environmental conservation. Although good mattresses have a fairly long lifespan (up to 8 years), once a mattress has served its purpose, it often ends up in the landfill. In fact, environmentalists estimate that 14-20 million mattresses (450 pounds) wind up in the landfill each year, consuming about 23 cubic feet of landfill space. These numbers are especially disappointing given that mattresses are 85-90 percent recyclable! Consider this when buying a mattress, and have your old mattress recycled.

Mattress Materials Can Be Recycled Into Everyday Items

Most of the materials that make up a mattress - metal coils, wood, cotton and foam - can be recycled and repurposed into everyday items:

  • Scrap metal

    from mattress coils can be used for automotive parts and construction materials.

  • Wood

    is chipped for landscaping mulch and animal bedding, or burned as biomass fuel.

  • Cotton fibers

    can be repurposed for oil filters, stuffing and insulation.

  • Foam

    is shredded and mixed with other materials to be made into carpet padding, insulation and other cushioning materials.

I believe that mattress providers like Mattress Firm have an obligation to their communities and customers to help alleviate this harmful situation. That's why I'm proud to be part of Mattress Firm's work with Sleep Inc. and their dreamGreen mattress recycling initiative. Sleep Inc. offers one of the best end-of-life mattress recycling programs in the bedding industry. This video demonstrates the process by which discarded mattresses are stripped to their individual components, which are then divided, prepared and packaged for shipment.

We believe that sleeping happy is more than just getting 8 hours of sleep; it's about sleeping well, knowing that you're doing your part to leave the world a better place for future sleepers. Although it is daunting to consider all the negative impacts mankind has had (and will likely continue to have) on the environment, I'm grateful this Earth Day to know that at Mattress Firm, we're doing our part to make a positive impact, and at the end of the day that's what helps me sleep happy.

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