Starting November 1, 2022, mattresses will be banned from disposal in Massachusetts. These bulky items, once taking up space in landfills and disrupting operations at municipal waste combustion facilities, will be redirected to recycling facilities and downstream markets for their metal, foam, fabric, and wooden components.
Each of the elements that make up a mattress have recycling potential: the internal springs can be melted into new steel, foam can be ground up to form padding or cushions, fabrics can become industrial filters, and box spring foundation wood can be chipped into mulch, bedding, or biomass fuel.
A host of service providers in Massachusetts disassemble and repurpose mattresses, giving new life to their old parts. One such service provider is UTEC, an non-profit organization in Lowell, Massachusetts that employs at-risk youth. UTEC employees work as a team to deconstruct mattresses, enabling their components to be reused and recycled.
Prior to disassembly, UTEC collects mattress curbside in five municipalities, from transfer stations, and from businesses via roll-off dumpster services. They process 25,000 mattresses annually and are steadily increasing this capacity. Learn more about UTEC’s model and observe the process of how they take apart mattresses in this article from Core77 and video from the Boston Globe.
In addition to UTEC, other mattress recyclers serving Massachusetts businesses and institutions include Ace Mattress Recycling, Green Mattress, HandUp Mattress Recycling and Upcycling, and Raw Material Recovery Corporation. The RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) Find-A-Recycler search tool can be used to find yet more service providers.
If you need assistance identifying an outlet for mattresses, or other materials, reach out to the RecyclingWorks hotline at (888) 254-5525 or Info@RecyclingWorksMA.com.