Our mattresses are among the most undervalued household items.
In terms of sleep quality, a mattress can make a big difference. It can affect how well you sleep and how your back feels the next day.
An old mattress can also be a pain to get rid of!
Studies recommend buying a new mattress every 8 to 10 years. But once you decide on a new mattress, how do you get rid of the old one?
The most common advice is to “donate” or “recycle,” but it’s not always that simple. In fact, some places, particularly in New York City, do not accept used mattresses. This is because used mattresses are notorious for transmitting bed bugs.
What’s the best thing to do then?
There are many plausible options when you don’t know how to dispose of a mattress in NYC.
Here are some choices you can try:
1. Give Your Mattress’ Manufacturing Company A Call
If the company that made your mattress is still in business, call them and ask if you can return it.
Surely, they will know what to do with their old mattresses.
Mattress manufacturers sometimes handle the disposal of their mattresses. However, some do not do this anymore, so you might want to call another recycling center.
You should also keep this in mind when you buy a new mattress in the future. Find out how to properly dispose of the mattress when it is due.
2. Sell It
There are many ways to connect with people in New York who need household stuff and are willing to buy them in used condition.
The popularity of online classifieds, social media and trade groups, and other online selling resources has grown exponentially. If you want to sell your old bedding, one of these resources could be a great way to get it out of your house and make a few bucks in the process.
Look for LetGo and OfferUp. Or try logging onto eBay, NextDoor, craigslist.com, or the Facebook Marketplace to find a person who needs a mattress.
Or, you could simply have a garage sale and sell the mattress there.
3. Give It Away For Free
Some other people are willing to take second-hand mattresses as long as it is for free. So if you don’t care about making any money, you can offer your old mattress up for free.
Check your local area for a giveaway group, i.e., trashnothing.com or Freecylce.org. You’ll likely be able to have someone come pick it up by the end of the day.
You can also offer the mattress in the “free items” category on your Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. Include a caveat that they must have their own transportation and be able to move it themselves.
4. Donate It to a Charity
Yes, you can actually donate your old mattress in New York City.
Many charities are happy to receive your old mattresses, especially if they’re still in good condition. Some charities resell them to raise money for their foundation, while others give them to needy people or families.
Remember that some charities in NYC don’t accept used mattresses due to bed bug concerns.
However, there are some that will accept your old mattress and even pick it up for you.
Mattress donation NYC can be done via Donate NYC.
Furniture Bank and DonationTown.org can also pick up your gently used mattresses in New York.
Some other charities to consider are:
- The Salvation Army
- Habitat for Humanity
- Nazareth Housing
- Hour Children
- Vintage Thrift
If you want to donate your mattress to charity, ensure it’s still in relatively good condition. Also, beware of the laws regarding mattress disposal in NYC.
5. Send It To A Homeless Shelter
Homeless shelters always need bedding, and a mattress would be beneficial to them. Many shelters cannot help all those in need because of a lack of beds and bedding. So when you donate your mattress, you can also send your old comforters and sheets.
6. Donate It To An Animal Shelter
If your mattress is no longer comfortable to sleep on, you can donate it to an animal shelter.
Many shelters will accept your old bedding, especially for large dogs.
Large dog bedding is expensive and often hard to come by, so they’ll welcome your donation with open paws.
7. Give It To A Recycling Center
There are various established recycling centers in New York that focus on reusing and recycling old mattresses.
These recycling centers have sophisticated machines that can separate the contents of the mattress. Old foams, springs, and woods are reused for various purposes.
You can easily recycle your old mattress via nyc.gov/recycle.
Also, check out Renewable Recycling Inc. This is a popular recycling company in New York that you can make a pickup appointment with to dispose of your mattress.
Search Earth911 for other recycling centers near you.
Note that some recycling centers offer pickup at your doorstep, while others require you to pay for transportation. It’s definitely worth it, though, since you’re reducing waste in the process.
8. Spruce Up The Mattress
With a bit of touch-up, you can reuse your mattress as am outdoor bed, guest bed, etc.
Clean the mattress with baking soda and other effective mattress cleaners, or steam clean it.
Buying a mattress topper will also improve the comfort of your old mattress and hide its flaws. You’ll be surprised at how new it looks and feels again. Moreover, a mattress topper can help prevent further damage to your mattress.
9. Make Something Out Of It
You don’t need to be Martha Stewart to become handy with DIY crafts. With some imagination, you’re sure to find a way to reuse the parts of your old mattress.
For example, if the mattress still has some foam, you can use it to make pillows or Christmas decorations. You can also make stuffed animals for kids.
The steels or springs in the mattress can be sold to the junk shop, but you can also make them as decorations. The steels can be used as picture hangers and similar projects.
Old mattress pieces can also be repurposed into beautiful ottomans, play surfaces for kids, dog beds, or even window seats.
Anything is possible.
Just buy the extra materials you need and get started on your DIY project.
10. Call A Junk Removal Company
In case you’re not a “do-it-yourselfer” or do not own a large pickup truck, the simplest thing to do is to call a local junk hauling company.
Make sure you hire vetted removers and professionals who will take care of you and your belongings before you call. You can check out some reviews on Yelp, Google, or elsewhere to ensure you’re only hiring a reputable company.
11. Throw It Out
If the mattress is too old to pass on or reuse and you want to get rid of it, there are several options. The worst options are to throw it down a dark alley, into the river, or into a ditch in the middle of the night.
However, all of these actions are illegal (and utterly irresponsible), and if you get caught, you’ll be dealt a hefty fine or penalty for illegal dumping. So don’t even think about it!
Your best bet is to follow the first suggestion and give the old mattress to your mattress supplier when they deliver your new one.
If that’s not possible, you should consider an NYC mattress pick up. It is the easiest, most convenient solution, and it’s totally free!
Yes, the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) will take your mattress along with your regular trash.
However, you must ensure that the mattress is appropriately prepared for pickup. Don’t just take it out and throw it on the curb without properly disposing of it. The mattress will not be picked up, and you will receive a $100 fine.
The rules on mattress or box spring disposal in NYC require that mattresses be sealed appropriately in a plastic bag or cover before pick up. This prevents the spread of bed bugs throughout the densely populated NYC boroughs.
In addition, disposed of mattresses can only be picked up on scheduled trash collection days. It is not permissible to place your old mattress outside at the curb (sealed or not) before 4 p.m. (to midnight) the night before pickup.
Regular collection dates are designed to help keep the city clean and prevent hazards.
You can find the collection schedule for your area on the DSNY website.
Note that the department does not provide bags or covers for mattress disposal. So you must find a way to seal your mattress for pickup by yourself.
You can find mattress bags and covers in big box stores (e.g., Walmart), home improvement stores (e.g., Home Depot), hardware stores, or moving supply stores. Make sure the bag or cover is a color other than red or orange.
So there you go; ways you can try to get rid of your old mattress properly in New York.
Look at all the options above and find the best one for you and your mattress. Remember that the mattress has served you well for years. Don’t embarrass it by dumping it at the bottom of the river!