Pounds of Waste Saved From Landfills

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The Parklane Mattresses Recycling Program

We are proud to partner with St. Vincent De Paul to keep mattresses out of landfills. This recycling program is the largest in the country and the mattress recycling model that dozens of other communities pattern theirs after. Whether you are about to purchase a new Parklane mattress to replace an old one, or are just in need of disposing of an old mattress and/or foundation, we are here to keep it out of the landfill. For a small fee of $70 per piece, covering the cost to pick-up the mattress and labor to disassemble it, we offer you the peace of mind that you have responsibly disposed of your old mattress. By making mattress recycling a standard in the Northwest you are partnering with us to keep thousands of pounds of recyclable material out of landfills every week.

Our recycling program has dedicated delivery trucks that only transport used products. We never mix used mattresses with new mattresses. We take handling your new mattress seriously and will always deliver it on a separate truck from our recycling truck. Look out for our green recycling trucks and don’t be surprised when we pull up to your doorstep in two trucks—one to pick-up your old mattress set for recycling and one to deliver your brand new Parklane better sleep secret. This is just one of the many ways we set ourselves apart in the industry to better your mattress shopping, purchasing and now recycling experience.

About St. Vincent de Paul

St. Vincent de Paul is the world leader in mattress recycling. Their Oakland, California mattress recycling facility was the first commercially viable mattress recycling business in the world. Today, between their operations in Oakland and Eugene, OR they are the largest mattress recycler in North America.

Recycling vs. Landfill

Mattresses take up lots of space in landfills, create flammable air pockets, damage compression equipment, and can create dangerous conditions for workers. However, if a mattress can be broken down to its component parts, about 85% of the contents can be recycled.

Recycling your mattress prevents useful materials from being wasted, and reduces the consumption of raw materials and energy usage, and hence greenhouse gas emissions, compared to virgin production. Products made from recycled materials consume up to 95% less energy than materials made from virgin materials and also promote a significant reduction in the amount of water usage and air pollution created. In the US, 33,000,000 mattresses are produced annually and 20,000,000 are discarded. Mattress and boxsprings are a problem in landfills because they do not readily biodegrade, can create flammable air pockets, and can be dangerous for equipment operators.

The average boxspring mattress is a 23 cubic-foot assembly of polyurethane foam, steel, cotton, and wood. Therefore keeping them out of landfills is a matter of efficiently recycling them so their core materials can be recycled into new products. Recycling one mattress saves 23 cubic feet and as much as 65 pounds of material from taking up landfill space, thus having a large impact on the growing space crisis in landfills.

Anywhere between 20 and 40 million mattresses are disposed of in the USA alone each year, most ending up in landfills. 20 million mattresses placed end to end would stretch around 22,700 miles and this amount of waste is generated each year from a single country!

Another issue with mattresses is the use of chemical flame retardants. These can prove toxic not only to humans, but when dumped in a landfill, these chemicals can leach from the mattress and contaminate the wider environment through seepage into groundwater.

If one were to assume that each of the 300,000,000 citizens of the United States had one full sized mattress and all these mattresses were to be disposed of side by side and end to end at one time- the area covered by these discarded mattresses would be about twenty percent of the surface area of the State of Rhode Island. Alternatively, this would require a landfill of over 300 square miles or a one-mile wide strip of mattresses running 300 miles in length. 100 mattresses stacked together and laid on their side would fill an Olympic size swimming pool.

How it Works

Mattresses and boxsprings are cut open and separated into various components, including cotton, foam, wood and steel. These materials are bailed and shipped out for recycling. St. Vincent de Paul provides a quality service to the community, and diverts millions of pounds of material from landfills every year.

The procedure for recycling a mattress consists of the polyurethane foam and cotton fiber on either side of the steel framework is sawn away. The remaining materials are put through a shredder. The metal is removed with a magnet from the shredded mass, and the remaining fiber material is bailed. On average, 60-90% of a mattress can be recycled, depending on its original quality and condition. Polyurethane accounts for six pounds of the average mattress. Polyurethanes can be sent for reuse, chemical recycling, or can be incinerated for energy recovery. In many cases, polyurethane can be just as valuable after it has served its original intended purpose and are ready to be discarded.

There are several mechanical recycling processes for polyurethanes currently in use:

  • Regrinding industrial and post-consumer flexible polyurethane foam into powders to produce new foam.
  • Flexible Foam Bonding yields a variety of padding products, including recovered pieces of flexible polyurethane foam used in products such as carpet underlay and athletic mats.
  • Adhesive Pressing coats polyurethane granules with a binder and then cures them under heat and pressure to make contoured parts like automotive floor mats and tire covers.
  • Compression Molding polyurethane granules under heat and pressure can produce rigid and 3-D parts, such as pump and motor housings.

The used foam can be turned into carpet underlay or insulation. The wooden frames can be chipped and used as fuel, the cotton is used in industrial machinery oil filters and other textile applications. The springs, made from steel, have a high market value as scrap but are difficult to compress.

Mattresses can be up to 90% recyclable. These commodities include foam, which is recycled back into the carpet industry, metal for the steel industry, and the wood that is made into ground covering. While there is a fee to recycle mattresses the benefits greatly out weigh lasting problems that are created by taking these items to the landfill. It takes a mattress 80 to 100 years to decompose and creates hazards.

Did You Know?

  • Each trailer of mattresses is the equivalent of two swimming pools of waste kept out of landfills.
  • The U.S. is the number one trash-producing country in the world at 1,609 pounds per person per year.
  • A 60-watt light bulb can be run for over 30 days on the amount of energy saved by recycling one twin mattress!
  • U.S. steel recycling saves enough energy in one year to heat and light 18,000,000 homes.
  • Mattresses have a life span of about 10.8 years.
  • Mattresses have a compaction rate 400% less than regular garbage, thus making them a problem in all landfills.
  • Recycling mattresses saves energy, reduces greenhouse gases, reduces the use of natural resources and reduces waste.