Old mattresses have been dumped in city landfills for years. Yet all of the materials in them are recyclable. Today, few cities offer recycling options but it's still worth searching for a municipal program, a private recycler, or asking retailers.
Across Canada, Sleep Country stores will donate mattresses purchased at their stores and in good condition to a local charity, or they'll have it recycled. Ask about the "green" fee for this service. And, before you purchase any new mattress, always ask the retailer — no matter how big or small — if they'll recycle your old one.
In the greater Toronto area, check out Recover Canada. They accept mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture for pickup or at drop-off depots — both have a fee. About 90 per cent of the materials can be diverted from the waste stream.
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Recently the City of Vancouver passed a bylaw prohibiting mattresses from being sent to landfills. Canadian Mattress Recycling opened in Metro in January, 2011. They offer weekly residential pickup programs in Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, Surrey, Delta, Langley, the North Shore, and the Tri-Cities area.
Another option in Western Canada—from Victoria to Edmonton—is Mattress Recycling. Check their website for drop-off locations or pickup pricing on mattresses, headboards, and couches.
In the Ottawa area, check out Mattress Mart. They work with Montreal-based recycler Matt Canada who'll pick up your old mattress set and ship it to their factory. Each piece costs $70, but if you're a customer it's only $10. Montrealers can also recycle box springs, mattresses, couches/arm chairs and clothing, among other things, for a fee.
If you live in Halifax or Winnipeg, unfortunately at this time, neither city has mattress recycling programs.