Whether you buy an expensive or lower-cost mattress, at some point, you will need to replace it. However, that leaves you with your old mattress to dispose of, and it’s not something you can easily throw away due to its size, weight and materials that it’s made of.
Your first thought may be, can you take a mattress to the tip and the simple answer is that yes, you can take a mattress to most tips around the UK. However, you will need to call and confirm which tips accept mattresses and check what is the cost of disposal.
Before you take your mattress to the tip, in this guide we’ll consider if there are easier, cheaper, and better options for disposing of your old mattress.
Can You Take an Old Mattress to the Tip?
Almost every tip around the UK will accept mattresses for disposal. Just make sure you call before transporting your mattress, to confirm if your local tip takes mattresses and how much it will cost you.
You also need to consider how you’re going to get your mattress to the tip. If you or your friends have a van or truck big enough to transport your mattress to the tip, then no problem, it’ll simply be down to cost to see if it’s worthwhile to dump your mattress at your local tip.
You may want to think twice about tying your mattress to your car’s roof, as there could be damage or it could fall off in the road.
Something else to consider is that mattresses are big and take up a lot of space, whether it’s in your house or at the rubbish dump. So if everybody dumps their old mattresses, it will fill up landfills, which is not a sustainable practice, and it’s certainly not good for the environment.
Will the Council Collect my Old Mattress?
Most local councils around the UK will collect your old mattress if you call them. They should also give you a price for doing so, with the average fee to collect an old mattress being around £28. However, the exact fee will depend on your postcode and borough. Also, consider what would be the wait time, with some councils having a lead time of 1-2 weeks.
Depending on your postcode, some local councils have household waste recycling centres, where they collect and recycle large unwanted household items. You can bring your old mattress, bed frame or furniture to one of the centres and they will recycle it for you for free. However, you’ll need to take care of transporting the mattress to the recycling centre.
To find out more and see how you can arrange a special collection for large waste items, visit the official gov.uk website here.
Can You Put a Mattress in a Skip?
You can throw a mattress into a skip that you hire, but this can be expensive and will likely end up at the tip as well, which is extremely poor for the environment if that is a concern for you.
It’s illegal to dump a mattress into somebody else’s skip, which could lead to fines.
You also need to be wary of dumping mattresses anywhere on public land or somebody else’s private land; this is fly-tipping and is also illegal, with fines waiting for anybody that does it.
Can You Sell an Old Mattress?
You can sell almost anything, but many people are hesitant to purchase used mattresses from individuals. From personal experience, I had 2 double size mattresses in reasonable condition, but I couldn’t sell or even give them away, and that seems to have worsened over the pandemic.
You can list your old mattress on eBay, Freecycle, or any local site that you’re comfortable using. You may get lucky and have somebody willing to pick up and take away your old mattress, which is even better than recycling it.
Can You Burn a Mattress in Your Garden?
You can not burn your old mattress in your garden; it will be awful for the environment and the people who breathe the smoke in, including you.
It’s also illegal to burn treated wood, plastic, and rubber in the UK, with fines being up to £50,000, and mattresses could contain these materials. If not, it’s illegal to burn a mattress away from your own property, and this can lead to significant fines as well.
5 Ways To Get Rid Of An Old Mattress:
There are many ways to get rid of our old mattress that are legal, cost-effective, and better for the environment than dumping it at the tip or into a skip. Listed below are a few of the better options for you to consider.
1. Buy new mattress and order old mattress collection
Many mattress retailers have an old mattress collection service, when you buy a new mattress from them (for example: Simba and Emma). This can be the easiest, fastest, and most convenient option. It doesn’t hurt to ask but check what happens to the mattress once it’s taken away.
2. Donate your old mattress
Donate your old mattress to thrift stores or charities, and they may even offer a pickup service. Examples of UK charities include: the Salvation Army and British Heart Foundation, see a full list of charities here.
Your mattress should be in clean and good condition before donating. Also, it needs to have its fire labels on, otherwise, it may not be accepted.
3. Check with your local council
Check with your local council if they pick up mattresses, what the cost is, and what happens to the mattress once picked up; some councils will recycle old mattresses.
4. Mattress collection & recycling company
Contact local companies specialising in mattress removal, recycling and collection, get a price, and ask what they do with the old mattress. If they recycle it, that’s ideal, and you may even find recycling centers that also offer pickup of mattresses.
5. Sell your old mattress
Try selling your old mattress so that somebody else gets to use it; this is potentially the best option; reuse is even better than recycling.
Worst-case scenario, you can offer it for free if somebody picks it up. It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get a few bucks for your mattress. It’s better than somebody else can use it, and it doesn’t cost you anything in disposal.
While throwing away your mattress may seem like an easy option, it’s not great for the UK, which has limited space that is filling up quickly. Recycling is a better option if it’s possible for you with the same amount of effort, there’s no reason not to do it.