3 Ways Recycling Your Mattress Makes a Difference

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3 Ways Recycling Your Mattress Makes a Difference

Posted by Carlee on April 16, 2024

Mattresses are problematic for landfills. They take up space, don't compress well, are fire hazards, and can damage equipment. Additionally, they contain non-biodegradable materials and hazardous chemicals that can contaminate water. That's why disposing of them costs extra. And yet, nearly 20 million mattresses are disposed of every year. 

This staggering amount of waste highlights the importance of participating in sustainable practices. By choosing to recycle your mattress, you are reducing the strain on landfills and transforming discarded materials into valuable resources that go straight back into our community.  

Spring Back Utah, a non-profit organization based in Salt Lake City, is leading the charge in this initiative. They have demonstrated that as much as 95% of a mattress, including the foam and other materials, can be recycled — turning what was once considered waste into something new and useful.  

As Earth Day approaches and we all look for ways to give back, discover how recycling makes a difference in your community.  

Materials are Given New Life 

Every mattress that arrives at the facility undergoes careful deconstruction and sorting. This process ensures that as much of the mattress as possible is reused. The metal, including all the springs and coils from mattresses and box springs, is transformed into rebar. This rebar is then used to strengthen roads and infrastructure in Utah. 

The wood from the frame is repurposed into playground mulch or used as fill, contributing to the creation of safer and more sustainable community spaces. The plastic wrapping that was once used to protect the mattress is also given a second life by being transformed into new plastic products.  

Even the pillow top layers of mattresses are given a new life as carpet pads. This leaves only the edging material and the bottom layer as waste.   

Support Those in Need 

Reuse is the best form of recycling. Before disposing of your old mattress, consider donating it if it's still in good condition.  

Jeff Jewett, co-founder of Spring Back Utah, stresses the importance of donating. He says, "If you bring in a mattress that's still in good condition, we'll reuse it. We work with The Road Home, Volunteers of America, and Rescue Mission to donate mattresses to people transitioning to housing after completing various programs. In the last year, we've given away over 1,000 mattresses, providing much-needed comfort and stability to those who need it most."   

Provides Employment Opportunities 

Spring Back Utah's core mission centers on recycling. Yet, this organization has become a crucial bridge to employment for many individuals entering or re-entering the job market.  

By offering job opportunities within its operations, Spring Back Utah teaches valuable skills and provides a supportive environment where workers can build confidence and gain experience. It's a place where second chances are tangible, and the dignity of work meets the necessity of sustainability. Each role filled here contributes to a larger cycle of renewal that benefits both the planet and its people. 

Jewett has witnessed the challenges faced by men and women striving to reintegrate into the workforce and reconnect with their families and communities. Many of these individuals have encountered significant barriers, including past incarceration, a history of addiction, lack of transportation, and homelessness. Jewett understands that finding meaningful employment is not just difficult — it is vital in restoring hope, dignity, and a sense of purpose in their lives.  

"We believe in second chances," Jewett, "and employment plays an important role in an individual's reintegration into society."  

What Can You Do? 

 

What can you do to make a difference today? Simple. "Get the word out," says Jewett.   

Spreading awareness is a powerful step toward a more sustainable and supportive community. Share the message with your friends, on Facebook, or during community gatherings.

Visit Spring Back Utah's website to schedule a pickup service. Whether arranging for a mattress to be removed from inside your home or leaving it curbside on the day of pickup, the process is designed to be convenient for you.  

RC Willey is a proud partner of Spring Back Utah.  And when you buy a mattress from RC Willey, you can opt for our Deluxe Delivery service, which offers convenient delivery and haul-away services. We will set up your new mattress and dispose of your old one. The old mattress is then taken to Spring Back Utah's warehouse, where it is properly recycled.  

By choosing to recycle, you're not just disposing of an old mattress — you're contributing to a larger movement that values sustainability, community, and human dignity. Together, we can make a significant difference, one mattress at a time. 

 

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