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, the City of Toronto will accept oversized items including mattresses, box springs, and upholstered furniture. All you have to do is place your mattress next to your garbage bins and the city will pick it up for free!
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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.
In Winnipeg, check out Mother Earth Recycling, an Aboriginally owned and operated Social Enterprise that accepts electronics from commercial and residential and now has a Mattress Recycling Program. Check out their website and facebook page for details.
If you live in Halifax, unfortunately at this time, neither city has mattress recycling programs.