Discarded mattresses

What is it? 

Mattresses have a core and cover. The core is made up of metal springs and other supportive materials to hold up the sleeper’s body, while the cover is made of various textiles and plastics which encase the core. Both components take up space and do not break down well in a landfill. Although there are neat ways to take apart a mattress by hand and recycle the materials on your own, there are currently no companies in Saskatchewan that recycle mattresses.  

What is the issue? 

Mattresses that come to their final resting place in the landfill take up a lot of space and do not compact well. Mattresses are also capable of damaging landfill equipment because of their springs, which can pop out and get tangled. Throwing a mattress away is also very wasteful, as there are markets for the metal, wood, and textiles that they are composed of. 

Where can it go? 

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There are several Canadian companies like Canadian Mattress Recycling Inc. and Re-Matt that can separate the different materials in a mattress and recycle them. Unfortunately, there is currently no place to recycle mattresses in Saskatchewan. There are thrift stores across the province that will accept gently used mattresses and box springs as donations. Check out our Waste Reduction Hub to see if there is a location near you. 

What happens after? 

Mattress disassembly can be automated or done by handThe separated materials are sent to other recyclersScrap metal dealers handle the metals, the wood is shredded or composted and the foam and textiles are sent to their respective recycling markets. 

How can I reduce? 

  • Flip and/or rotate your mattress 2 or 3 times per year to help it last longer. 

  • Instead of throwing it away, give it to a friend, post it for free on the internet or check to see if any of your local furniture thrift stores accept gently used mattresses as donations.