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MATTRESS RECYCLING Old mattresses pose a particular waste management problem.

Disposing of mattresses is difficult because of their bulk, and increasing disposal fees can lead to illegal mattress dumping. Illegal dumping of mattresses could lead to hundreds of dollars in fines, require tax funds to clean up, and lead to insect infestations. Help prevent illegal dumping by reporting incidents to local authorities or environmental protection department. 1. Millions of mattresses are landfilled each year and can take up 28 cubic feet of space. 2. Any mattresses sent to incinerators are just as difficult to handle. Mattress springs often damage or get stuck within the machinery. 3. Due to the contamination of water, dirt, wear, illegal dumped mattresses often do not qualify for recycling. 4. Local municipalities often have inconsistent collection practices, which leads to the loss of qualifying recyclable materials. Mattresses are made up of foam, cotton, wood, and steel, all recyclable materials. Recyclers can recover approximately 80 percent of materials from a mattress and box spring. Waste Management Options 1. Old mattresses that are merely being replaced can be donated or resold, though businesses may need to obtain special permission to resell. Because this option reduces waste entirely, it is the most preferred option. 2. Some companies can refurbish old mattresses by stripping it and replacing the foam, cotton, and covering. These companies replace the filling and retain the original springs. 3. Recycling mattresses involve recovering, boxing, and baling all mattress materials and selling them to their respective recycling processors. Steel and cotton together make up over 60 percent of most mattresses. Mattress Recycling Process 1. Recyclers first remove wood, steel, and cotton from the mattress. Wood is sold to chippers for use as fuel, and steel is sold to be melted and used to produce new materials. 2. Recovered foam is torn, or shredded using special machinery, and sold for use as insulation or carpet padding. Considerations 1. Municipal collection and processing of mattresses has been proven costly and difficult. Consistent quality and handling make recovering materials for recycling a challenge. 2. Hotels, motels, and apartment complexes often face the task of disposing leftover or damaged mattresses. These types of facilities should consider taking old mattresses to special mattress recyclers who are equipped to handle the material. 3. Businesses who need to dispose of several mattresses at once often need to hire a hauler, due to the difficulty of transporting. 4. Mattress manufacturers could encourage recycling by establishing an incentive program, or by taking on responsibility for transporting old mattresses to private recycling businesses. 5. Some recyclers can add mattresses to the materials that they are currently recycling. Check with your solid waste governing body to inquire about any special permitting. 6. Many local governments will assist with setting up a recycling facility and requesting special permits. 7. Recycling mattresses poses a potential bed bug danger to workers. -Mark and isolate any discovered infestations. -Record all prevention methods in place within the recycling facility.

-Keep a clean work area in the facility, including docks, vacuums, and delivery vehicle seat

Refurbish vs. Reuse vs. Recycle In the past, recycling a mattress was often mistakenly viewed as putting a new cover on an old mattress. However, this is not recycling. Even so, it is important to recognize that mattresses can be and are reused in their original form. To help understand issues related to safety, health and the environment, a few commonly confused terms have been listed below. Reuse Mattresses and upholstered furniture in Connecticut can be used again as mattresses and furniture. Individuals and businesses can legally donate these materials (though they should be in good, clean condition). Thrift shops or other reuse businesses can only resell mattresses and upholstered furniture with proper licenses from the CT Department of Consumer Protection. Please Note It is illegal for any storefront/retailer to sell, rent, or renovate any used bedding or upholstered furniture without the proper license and permit, and proper sanitization/sterilization methods. These statutes and regulations are enforced by the CT Department of Consumer Protections Bedding and Upholstered Furniture Program

Refurbishing/Remanufacturing/Rebuilding/Renovating - There are some companies that refurbish, remanufacture, rebuild or renovate used mattresses. There are also a few companies in the U.S. that provide the service of rebuilding your mattress for you. Both include stripping down the mattress and replacing the cotton, foam, insulator, and covering (retaining only the original springs), and remaking the mattress as good as new. Companies that take old mattresses and put new covers on them are not refurbishing the mattress. If companies remove the old covering first and then replace it they are still not refurbishing. To renovate, refurbish, rebuild or remanufacture bedding (includes mattress and box spring) new filling material needs to be added. Bedding and upholstered furniture statutes and regulations are enforced by the CT Department of Consumer Protection. Recycling Recycling happens when the steel, foam etc. are recovered, boxed or baled and sold to recycling markets. These markets may continue to process materials or create new products from the raw materials recovered from the mattresses and box springs.

Some recycling businesses will remove the steel frame and then landfill or incinerate the remaining parts of the mattress. Dismantlers, however, recover much of the different components that make up a mattress and box spring (wood, metal, foam, fabric) and have recycling markets for 80 90% of the original product. Prolong the life of your mattress by following the manufacturer's instructions, which generally involves turning it four times a year.

Where Do the Materials Go and What Are They Used For? The wood, metal springs and cotton are Whats in a Mattress? removed from the mattress. The A mattress is made up of metal (mostly remaining foam is usually torn up, steel), wood, cotton batting, paper, although some recycling facilities are fiberfill, urethane foam, and other more sophisticated and utilize shredding miscellaneous textiles. machines to shred the foam. The wood is typically sold to wood chippers and used as a fuel source. The cotton and foam are sold to companies that use the materials for insulation and carpet padding. The steel from the metal springs is usually sold to steel recycling companies who It typically has 9 pounds of cotton and 25 melt it down to make new products. pounds of steel. It's composition is roughly: There are quite a number of uses for a mattress, and a dedicated recycling 30% metal 38% cotton facility can recycle up to 90 percent of 10% foam the mattress. Most mattress dismantlers 4 % wool shoddy make some money selling raw materials, but usually request a fee per unit to cover Overall these numbers vary, and continue all the costs of recovering the maximum to change as manufacturers adjust how amount of materials. In addition to they make beds and the materials they use conserving resources recovered through to make them. mattress recycling, landfill and incinerator operators will experience reduced handling and disposal challenges, and other businesses engaged in material processing or new product development will have access to the recovered raw materials. Bed Bugs

The Connecticut Coalition Against Bed Bugs (CCABB) suggests if bed bugs are found on a mattress and/or box spring they either be put into encasements and tagged as infested or marked (spray painted) as infested and slashed/defaced/cut up/damaged to prevent reuse and further infestation. Managers of transfer stations, landfills, mattress recycling facilities, and incinerators are encouraged to review CCABBs Best Practices for Bed Bug Management of Mattresses, Bedding, and Upholstered Furniture: Guidance Document for the Reuse/Resale and Recycling Industries in Connecticut (2011) to ensure that staff are taking precautions not to bring bed bugs home with them. DO NOT donate or give away mattress and/or box springs if they have bed bugs! Bed bugs hide in cracks and crevices, such as seams, tufts, labels, and corner protectors. They leave behind black spots (fecal matter).