Old mattresses: where do they go to die?

I bought a new mattress this week (YAY!), and as is typical, I could have asked the store to haul away the old one when they delivered the new one. I didn’t (I am giving it to my sister, who is swapping with a friend for a twin mattress for my nephew).

But I imagine tons of people have the old mattress hauled away, and don’t think any more about it. What does the store do with all these old mattresses? I sure hope they don’t up in a landfill somewhere, especially when so many people have no decent bed to sleep on. (Mine was 9 years old, but is probably still much more serviceable than what some people have.)

Corollary: if youre buying a new mattress, don’t toss the old one! Please call your local nonprofits and try to donate it, or place an ad on Craigslist or Freecycle. It drives me nuts when people throw useable household items in the trash, when so many people are forced to go without.

At least in NC, restrictions are placed on used mattresses. They need to be sterilized before they are sold, at 230 degrees for two hours. I worked at a Goodwill in NC, and they could not accept used bedding for this reason. I imagine the same restrictions would apply to an organization giving away used mattresses.

The swamps of Squornshellous Zeta, of course.

They end up in the dump, oh sorry “landfill.”

The Lone Ranger carries them away—to-da-DUMp-to-da-DUMP-to-da-dump-Dump-DUMP…

No, that’s where we get them.

Yeah but they’d surely want to go back home there if they could.

(I feel kind of sorry for this thread. :))

These guys may have something to do with it. (Look for “Mattresses” in the third column.)

If you kill a mattress, is that matricide?

Where this comment springs from I’m stuffed if I know.

Well, the good Christian ones go to Mattress Heaven. . .

Members of my family helped me with getting a new mattress installed back in the mid '80s. I wondered at the time what on earth they’d done with the old one.

The mass of linked together springs like some weird metallic skeleton under my house is most likely the answer … :rolleyes: Eh. They meant well.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.

I’ll just flubber off.

Ok, I give up. How in the world does one heat a mattress to 230°F for two hours?!


Actually, a large, specially made oven is probably what is used.

It would surprise me if every sort of mattress would survive that sort of temperature. How would rubber or foam be after that sort of treatment?

Probably not very well.

I tried donating my old mattress to Goodwill in Texas. They refused it for the same reason. The delivery guys carted the old one off to parts unknown.

I once encountered an unmarked box truck on the highway entrance ramp as I headed home from work at 3:30 a.m. that had lost part of its load of used mattresses. The driver was just beginning to load them back onto the truck, and I had to drive off-ramp to get onto the highway. (If you have to ask why I didn’t stop to help him, you are probably not female.)

I’m not sure where he was going with the mattresses at 3:30 a.m. in an unmarked truck in rural Minnesota, but I’m thinking probably not to the Goodwill.