Creative Reuse

New Life for Old Bedding




Reusing, recycling or repurposing a worn-out mattress is a far better solution than adding another to the 20 million or so that annually end up in landfills. Before discarding, first check with family members, friends or coworkers, or post a note on a community bulletin board or on the Internet (Freecycle.org) about the availability of a free, gently used mattress.

Next, offer to donate the mattress to The Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries or a local consignment or thrift shop, church, shelter or disaster relief organization. Note that this option may require professional cleaning prior to donation. Many nonprofit outlets provide free home pickup of items, which can be claimed as a charitable tax deduction.

Crafty individuals may want to disassemble the mattress and make use of buttons, tabs and fabric for sewing pillowcases, reupholstering indoor furniture, covering outdoor furniture or as stuffing for pillows. Check with local artist centers too, because one or more of their members may wish to use recyclable materials like the metal springs in their works.

The wooden frame of the mattress can be used to create a backyard compost pile with the wood slots becoming the compost bin's architecture. In addition, the springs of an old bed can be utilized in a garden as they can make for a serviceable trellis to support growing plants.


Some recycling centers do not accept mattresses. Find local resources and policies at Earth911.com.

Sources: Home.HowStuffWorks.com, Tinyurl.com/RadicalRecyclingMattresses

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