Responsibly dispose of your unwanted mattresses and box springs by recycling them with BARC
Whether moving across town or across the country or, just replacing an old worn out mattress, dealing with the nuisance of an old mattress is a challenge. Bay Area Recycling for Charities, can help you responsibly dispose of your unwanted mattress in a way that benefits both you and the environment. BARC specializes in recycling mattresses and box spring.
Throw your old bed onto the top of your car, or into a trunk, and take it over to BARC at 1732 Barlow St., in Traverse City, Michigan. For a very reasonable fee, they will take the mattress and recycle 100% of the material, preparing it for re-use. Or, also for a fee, they will come and get the old mattress and take it off your hands! If you live in a 6 county area that includes Grand Traverse, Antrim, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Benzie and Manistee, MMR will come and get it, and then recycle the mattress on your behalf. Michigan Mattress Recycling will even work with you to remove your old mattress at the same time you are getting your new one!
Over 20 million mattresses are discarded every year, just in the United States. MMR works with hospitals, hotels, dorms and retirement communities to manage the bulk recycling of hundreds of mattresses a year. This keeps a huge amount of waste out of landfills as most of the materials in a mattress will never break down. Keeping the flame retardants and formaldehyde that are in the materials of a mattress from going into the landfill and eventually leaching into the water table is important. Recycling mattresses contributes to a stream of manufacturing that makes good use of all the many components of a mattress.
Once the mattress is at BARC, it goes to the part of the warehouse that looks like something straight out of the folktale Princess and The Pea, with mattresses piled up and up! The highly trained workers in the warehouse take the mattresses apart, using saws to remove the springs from the wood in the box spring. The wood is made into chips, which have many uses, including fuel. Most mattresses have 300-500, or more, steel coils and these springs can be turned into scrap metal. The cotton and polyurethane foam from the mattress is removed and baled, to be used in many industrial situations that require textiles. The foam can be turned into underlayment for carpeting or used in the re-upholstery process. The ticking is sometimes turned into archery targets. BARC prepares the materials and then sends it on to the appropriate place in the supply chain. There are many uses for the materials that would otherwise be trash!