How does San Diego deal with recycling mattresses?

In this brief report we will discuss the topic “Recycling mattresses San Diego” and know what type of materials are used in making mattresses that can be safely disposed of. We will further know in detail the different initiatives taken by the State Government in dealing with waste mattresses as well as other landfill wastes.

What are mattresses made of?

Sleep is very important for us because it gives a healthy and nourished day to do your daily activities. With a good night’s sleep as recommended by doctors, many health issues can be dealt with much ease. And if you have a mattress that makes your sleep comfy and provides good sleeping posture, you will feel like a king. Mattresses are a part of our home furniture that are unavoidable. With billions of people using it, it makes one of the most highly in demand materials. 

That is the reason mattress companies are always researching and optimizing their products to bring out the best quality and meet the comfortness of different types of people. The basic components of the mattress includes:

  • Comfort component 
  • Support component
  • Base components

A base is that part of the mattress that provides the foundational support to the Support and comfort components. These are usually made of metal frames or a fancy wooden carved with style and designs. This also includes the headboard, footboard and slats which gives it an addiction support and attractive looks. 

A support component is an important part of the mattress as it gives the structural support to the body with neutral alignment of your spine. A good support component prevents back pain and associated discomforts to your body. Pocket coils, latex foam, and visco-elastic or memory foam are used alone or in combination to make the support component of the mattress.

Now the comfort part is made of materials that give you the comfort and pressure relief aspects of the mattress. These are made from dacron, foams, latex etc to provide different levels of comfort for your body. These range from soft, plush feel to a firmer platform.

Photo Courtesy: iStock. Layers in mattress

Are the materials used in mattresses recyclable?

Mattresses are made with complex materials that are optimized to give you maximum support and comfort to your sleep. Most of the mattress last for 6- 7 years or when they become saggy and need to be replaced. A mattress in good condition can always be given to charity or sold online where it can be reused until it’s worn out. 

But a completely used mattress needs to be sent to recycling and lets know if the material used in these mattresses are itself recyclable or not. The material used in making a mattress include wood, steel, cloths, foams all of which are completely recyclable. Most of the mattress contain 300-600 steel springs that can be removed for recycling. 

As steel has good recycling efficiency these can be reused many times without losing its quality. Wood from the mattress are also recyclable and if not taken for recycling, they are at least biodegradable. This means you don’t have to worry about this part being dumped in landfill as nature will recycle it for its own purposes.

Other components such as foam and latex are also recycled. Polyurethane foams are recycled to be used in redesigning your couches, carpet padding and for stuffing pillows. For pet lovers, make a new bed for your pet using the trashed foam giving the comfort of sleep to your pets as well. 

The foam can also be cleaned to be reused where stains with soapy water, however, remember not to treat with any chemicals as these may damage the foam. Latex used in mattresses are obtained from naturally occurring tree sap and hence are completely biodegradable. This is the added advantage of latex other than being the best supporting material for pressure relief, breathability, and coolness.

Thus almost all the parts of a mattress can be recycled or repurposed which is an eco-friendly solution as these materials, if dumped in landfill, will badly affect the living systems on the earth. However, it is also a thing that removing each part of the mattress from recycling is tedious and you need special equipment and manpower to do this. 

Most households are not equipped with such materials and recycling by themselves is not possible to a great extent. This is where mattress recycling companies come in handy. Many make a living by recycling mattresses and the companies are very friendly from collecting the used beds to recycling each component of the mattresses. 

How does San Diego deal with recycling mattresses?

Mattress recycling is an important need as most of the parts of a mattress is not biodegradable and some materials are harmful to the environment. San Diego is well equipped with handling and recycling of mattresses as they have many recycling centers that provide door to door services or collect near the garbage disposals located near each house. 

Junk King San Diego offers professional services to disassemble boxes or mattresses for an efficient and environmentally friendly way to recycle. Bedder World is another such agency that has recycled over 50,000 mattresses in 5 years in San Diego. Their service is provided on 6 days per week and their recycling efficiency is very high with an overall rate of 90%. 

This is one of the biggest steps towards a healthy environment. When most waste materials are dumped in landfill, organizations such as these help residents by recycling their used items. These centers also have provisions to recycle other items that are not needed by the residents such as old books, toys, clothes etc. 

The City of San Diego is also encouraging residents to go for recycling by introducing several recycling programs. The city has passed California Senate Bill 1383 which specifies rules for disposing yard waste and food items. They have also passed recycling ordinance and Polystyrene Foam and Single Use Plastic Ordinance to introduce new recycling requirements and resources. 

With these sets of rules and plans they are ahead with their recycling capabilities than any other state in the US. Even more, the state has mandated the use of scientific tools to assess the types of wastes that are dumped into the landfill which help them to know if there are any capable items that can be recycled rather than dumped in the landfill. 

With this they were able to divert the landfill waste for different purposes or reuses and the State was able to achieve a 69% diversion rate in 2012 giving a tremendous contribution towards a clean environment.

Photo Courtesy: iStock. Old Mattress


In this short report we have discussed the topic “Recycling mattresses San Diego” and have highlighted some of the materials used in making mattresses. We have also discussed how each material can be recycled and how San Diego state is well forward with recycling of mattresses and other landfill wastes.

Frequently asked question (FAQs): Recycling Mattresses San Diego.

What is the CA mattress recycling fee?

The California Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) has taken a good initiative to prevent the waste pile up in landfill by charging an amount of $10.50 for each piece of mattress taken for recycling. This processing fee goes towards the state that helps them manage the waste in landfill and thus reduce carbon footprint including handling state’s unnecessary wastes. The fee is fixed for the number of pieces you bring irrespective of their sizes. 

Most of these charges are to pick up and drop off so if you can handle these by yourself there are recycling centers that can do it for free. Since all the parts are easily recyclable you just have to bring it to the local centers or find the nearest drop off center where the mattress can be disposed of.

Can you take the mattress to Miramar landfill?

When you think of dumping waste in landfill you may think it is harmful, but not at Miramar Landfill where they are equipped with and specialized in diverting the landfill waste for other purposes. So far they have achieved a diversion rate of 66% from the 910,000 tons of trash disposed of every year at this center.

Other than high diversion rate the landfill wastes are also used to generate methane gas which powers the Metropolitan Biosolids Center and water plants. They also provide a service to pick up and drop off for your convenience at a rate of $25-45.

How much does the San Diego dump cost?

Several waste items such as electronic appliances, household furnitures, and kitchen items can be dumped at the local recycling centers which charge based on the load of wastes. A majority of landfill charges are in the range of $36 to $50 per ton. Miramar landfill charge a reasonable cost of $ 31 per ton

Can I throw the mattress in recycling?

If you have a big mattress that cannot be taken to recycling centers, call the local recycling center in your city and they will provide pick up service at a reasonable cost and take care of your old mattress. Most of the recycling centers provide drop off locations where you can take the mattress for recycling, however, make sure that you cover it with plastics and inform them if your mattress is contaminated with pests.

Can old mattresses be recycled?

Yes, any old mattress can be recycled as the different materials used in making the mattress are completely recyclable and reused for other purposes. Steel, metals, plastics, wood, and foam are separated at the recycling centers and are recycled separately. Most of the recycling centers take care of separating the parts as they are well equipped with tools and methods. 

Do charities want mattresses?

Charities do accept old mattresses if they are still in usable condition. You will have to inform if there is any issue with bed bugs as they may need cleaning first and then donated to charity. The Salvation Army is one such charity that accepts mattresses in good condition and they have many centers located in most of the places.


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