American Recycler News, Inc.


King County’s Take it Back Network to includes mattresses

In an effort to reduce the number of used mattresses that are going to its landfill and taking up space, when they could instead be recycled and their components reused, King County’s Take it Back Network has added two new partners as inaugural mattress recycling members.

A Plus Removal & Recycling and Rubbish Works join a large and growing number of retailers, repair shops, nonprofit organizations, waste haulers and recyclers that provide consumers with safe and convenient reuse and recycling options for hard-to-recycle products.

Each year, up to 40 million mattresses with box springs are disposed in the U.S., and a single mattress can take up as much as 40 cu. ft. of landfill space. In 2011, King County received about 90,000 mattresses weighing more than 3,000 tons for disposal at its transfer stations and landfill.

“Mattresses have a life span of about 11 years and take up a huge amount of space in the landfill,” said Shawnda Anderson, director of operations for Rubbish Works. “This is why we try to recycle everything possible – from furniture to mattresses. Joining the Take it Back Network is a great way of demonstrating our commitment to provide sustainable end-of-life options for mattresses to Seattle-area customers.”

Mattresses are made of several recyclable materials including polyurethane foam, steel, cotton and wood, which, when separated, can be used in a variety of end-market applications including auto parts, insulation and carpet padding. Mattress recycling reduces waste in the landfill and generates local jobs.