MATTRESS DISPOSAL CHALLENGES IN THE U.S.
Some of the materials in mattresses are environmentally unfriendly and take a long time to degrade. Toxic flame retardants seep out into the environment and contaminate ground water.
RISING WASTE DISPOSAL COSTS LEAD TO ILLEGAL DUMPING
As waste disposal costs rise, the risk of curbside and illegal dumping increases, creating hazardous and unsightly conditions in the communities. Most charities do not accept donations of old mattresses or large furniture from the public. When local governments spend money to deal with these items other than normal types of garbage, these costs are eventually passed onto the communities.
Most mattress retailers market a “take back” program as an incentive for customers to buy new products. These exchange programs translate to truckloads of solid waste headed for the landfills.
Only about 5% of the more than 4 million used mattresses generated in California are recycled each year. Once they have been disposed, mattresses are generally rendered unsuitable for recycling due to exposure to the elements.