One of the most wasteful and expensive practices in the country is throwing used mattresses in the trash. Mattresses, which are large, bulky and costly to haul and dispose of, are typically sent to landfills or incinerators.
A growing trend is mattress recycling, in which mattresses are disassembled into useful parts that can be recycled and reused. Recognizing the many benefits of this practice, the Melrose Department of Public Works is holding its first mattress recycling event on Saturday, July 19, from 8 a.m.-noon at the DPW Operations Facility, 72 Tremont Street.
This event is sponsored by Melrose Cooperative Bank and any type of mattresses or box spring can be dropped off for free.
Up to 95 percent of mattress components – including metal, cotton and foam – are recyclable. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of mattresses are recycled annually. Melrose is one of the first communities in the area to organize a mattress recycling event.
“This is an excellent opportunity to cut down on waste, reduce the amount of money we’re spending to haul these mattresses and also create recycling jobs,” says Ann Waitt, Assistant Director of Public Works. “Most people aren’t even aware that mattresses can be recycled and how much of the materials go to waste.
“We’re hoping to get a good turnout on July 19 and start a trend here in Melrose.”
The mattresses and box springs collected at the event will be picked up and recycled by the Lowell-based United Teen Equality Center (UTEC), an organization that provides jobs and GED preparation classes for proven-risk youth. UTEC’s mission is to offer constructive opportunities for young people who might otherwise be involved with gangs, violence and illegal activities.
“In addition to taking advantage of this new recycling option, you’ll be supporting a great youth program, the UTEC,” adds Waitt.
Youth at UTEC deconstruct mattresses and boxsprings to recycle their parts.
Discounted metal recycling
At the same July 19 event, metal items that are typically collected at Saturday events will be accepted at a discounted price of $10. The usual rate for recycling metal items is $15 per item.
Accepted items include (but are not limited to): refrigerators, stoves, exercise equipment, washers, dryers, iron sinks, pipes, storm doors and windows, hot water heaters, radiators, bicycles, chairs, metal desks, metal file cabinets, dismantled play sets, dehumidifiers, recliners, sleep sofas, lawn mowers, air conditioners, snow blowers, paper shredders, grills, metal lockers and microwaves.
For more information, contact Jessie Schmitt, the Solid Waste and Recycling Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 781-665-0142.