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How to Dispose of a Mattress in Massachusetts

Massachusetts has taken significant strides to reduce waste and promote recycling. One such step is the introduction of new waste disposal bans, which include the prohibition of mattress disposal in regular trash. This new law, effective from November 1, 2022, aims to encourage residents to recycle or donate their unwanted mattresses, thereby reducing landfill waste and promoting sustainability.


It’s no secret that as we become more aware of our environmental impact, the ways we dispose of our waste are evolving. In Massachusetts, these changes are reflected in recent waste disposal bans, including a ban on the regular disposal of mattresses. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is leading this initiative with the goal of encouraging more sustainable practices among residents and businesses alike.

This post will explore these new regulations in detail, providing a comprehensive guide for anyone unsure about how to dispose of their old mattress in Massachusetts.

How to Dispose of a Mattress in Massachusetts

Explanation of the new waste disposal bans in Massachusetts

Effective November 1, 2022, the MassDEP introduced new waste disposal bans, expanding the list of materials that should be recycled instead of being thrown away. The two latest additions to this list are mattresses and textiles. This means that tossing your old mattress into the regular trash is now illegal in the state. Instead, residents and businesses are encouraged to recycle or donate these items.

This initiative is not only aimed at reducing landfill waste, but also at promoting recycling and reusing these materials. According to the MassDEP, once disassembled, over 75% of mattress components can be reused. This presents a significant opportunity to divert waste from landfills while simultaneously providing valuable raw materials for other uses.

Options for Mattress Recycling

Now that we understand why the ban has been put in place, let’s explore the available options for mattress recycling in Massachusetts. Whether you’re a consumer looking to get rid of a single mattress or a business needing to dispose of multiple units, there are several solutions available to you.

Consumer Mattress Recycling

For consumers, there are several avenues for recycling your unwanted mattresses. First, you can donate mattresses that are still in good condition. The MassDEP provides a directory of charities and organizations that accept mattresses for reuse or recycling. Secondly, you can take advantage of retailer haul-away services. Most furniture and mattress sellers will accept old mattresses for recycling and disposal when they deliver newly purchased ones to your home.

Lastly, some cities or towns in Massachusetts have collection programs for mattress recycling, which you can find out more about by contacting your local health, public works, or recycling department.

Business & Institutional Mattress Recycling

For businesses and institutions, the MassDEP offers several resources to aid in mattress recycling. They can take advantage of the free assistance program, Recycling Works in Massachusetts, which assists businesses in maximizing recycling, reuse, and composting opportunities.

The program’s website includes a search tool for locating companies that process a wide range of materials, including mattresses. Additionally, MassDEP offers Recycling & Reuse Business Development Grants to subsidize private sector efforts to expand the collection of materials banned from disposal in the state, including mattresses.

MassDEP Disposal Ban on Mattresses

The MassDEP’s disposal ban on mattresses took effect on November 1, 2022. It applies to all mattresses, including foundations or box springs, with the exception of those contaminated with mold, bodily fluids, insects, oil, or hazardous substances.

The goal of this ban is to encourage the recycling and reusing of mattresses, which are predominantly made up of recyclable materials. By doing so, Massachusetts hopes to reduce landfill waste and promote a circular economy where resources are reused rather than discarded.

Assistance from RecyclingWorks for implementing mattress recycling programs

RecyclingWorks provides free technical assistance to help businesses and institutions implement mattress recycling programs. They offer advice and guidance on how best to adhere to the new disposal regulations and can be contacted via phone or email for further information. They also provide a variety of resources online, including communication toolkits and case studies of successful recycling efforts in the state.

Donating Mattresses for Reuse

If your mattress is still in good condition and not contaminated with any harmful substances, donating it for reuse is a fantastic option. Not only does this divert the mattress from the waste stream, but it also provides a useful item for someone else. Many charities and organizations accept donated mattresses, and some retailers even offer haul-away services for old mattresses when delivering a new one.

Potential cost savings of recycling mattresses

Aside from the clear environmental benefits, recycling mattresses can also offer potential cost savings. In Massachusetts, municipalities can charge residents a $10-50 fee for mattress removal, not including transportation, fuel prices, and other factors. By choosing to recycle or donate your mattress, you may avoid these costs altogether. Moreover, many of the components of a mattress can be reused once disassembled, offering potential savings in raw materials for manufacturers.

Process of mattress recycling

At first glance, a mattress may seem like a single, inseparable unit. However, once disassembled, a mattress is essentially a collection of different materials, many of which can be recycled. These include metal springs, wood frames, and various types of foam and fabric. Once these components are separated, they can be processed and used to manufacture a variety of new products.

Mattress Recycling Case Studies

Several businesses and institutions in Massachusetts have already seen success with mattress recycling initiatives. For example, Ecos Properties, a commercial real estate company based in Great Barrington, managed to recycle 96 mattresses and box springs during a renovation project, diverting over 7,000 pounds of material from disposal. Similarly, Worley beds, a mattress manufacturer and retailer in New Bedford, successfully recycled over 17,000 mattresses and box springs in 2022 alone. These examples highlight the viability and benefits of mattress recycling in the state.

Examples of successful mattress recycling initiatives

There are numerous examples of successful mattress recycling initiatives in Massachusetts. For instance, the United Teen Equality Center in Lowell has a mattress recycling program that has created jobs for young adults while diverting thousands of mattresses from the landfill. Similarly, Raw Material Recovery Corp. in Gardner has developed a process for recycling mattresses and box springs that recovers up to 90% of the raw materials.


The recent waste disposal bans in Massachusetts signal a shift towards more sustainable waste management practices. By prohibiting the disposal of mattresses in regular trash, the state is encouraging residents and businesses to recycle or donate these items instead. This not only reduces landfill waste but also promotes the reuse of valuable materials found in mattresses.

Whether you’re a consumer looking to get rid of an old mattress or a business seeking to implement a mattress recycling program, there are various options available to you. From donating to local charities to taking advantage of retailer haul-away services, Massachusetts provides resources and support to facilitate mattress recycling. By embracing these new regulations, we can all contribute to a cleaner and more sustainable future for the state.

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