Archive for April, 2019

Northwest Canadian Greyhound League

Posted by pauloneal

Community Feature: Northwest Canadian Greyhound League

When someone mentions a Greyhound, what often comes to mind is the image of a lean, long-legged dog with a slender face. But when pressed further, what else do you know about the breed?

What do you know about Greyhounds? (Image Credit: NCGL)

When we sat down with NCGL, we learned that:

  1. As sighthounds, Greyhounds were bred for hunting deer and hare
  2. Nowadays, Greyhounds have found a livelihood on the racefield
  3. Greyhounds are in fact great apartment dogs
  4. And, their gentle and lovable nature make them fantastic family pets

What are sighthounds?

A unique breed of dogs, Greyhounds boast sharp eyesight and speed capable of hunting agile prey. Other sighthounds include whippets, salukis, and afghan greyhounds. Compared to scent-hounds, these sighthounds – as their name suggests – excel at hunting by sight rather than by scent.

Greyhounds excel at hunting by sight. (Image Credit: NCGL)

Whereas a beagle may sniff out game hidden in brush with their powerful nose, Greyhounds would use their excellent eyesight to spot deer and hare, and chase after them. Where a Greyhound would lack in endurance during a chase, they excel with bursts of speed.

Greyhounds on the Racefield

The ability of these Greyhounds to sprint make them the ideal racing dogs. As such, many bets have been made on the racefield for these Greyhounds. In fact, Greyhounds often find themselves in the racing career, trained to compete against each other under the caring guidance of their handlers. With their natural ability to reach 72 km / hr during sprints, Greyhounds have long thrived on the track.

Greyhounds have the natural ability to reach top speeds for racing. (Image Credit: Canadian Mattress Recycling)

But did you know that Greyhounds are also fantastic apartment dogs?

Greyhounds As Apartment Companions

To those unfamiliar with the Greyhound breed, recommending the breed to apartment dwellers may seem odd. Greyhounds love to sprint, to race. So isn’t an apartment the last place they’d feel comfortable living in?

On the contrary, as we learned from NCGL, Greyhounds find contentment lounging at home, sprawled on a couch. When we met Judy Miller, NCGL’s Treasurer/Director, her own Greyhound was curled up under her office desk, dozing off in a light nap!

Greyhounds require only a couple of short walks each day. They like to sleep a lot during the day, making them a very low maintenance companion compared to other breeds. In addition, Greyhounds rarely bark, and are great with other people and animals.

Greyhounds As Family Pets

Some dog breeds are infamous for nipping at outstretched fingers. This is a problem when you have infants or toddlers, who love to grab things. But the sweet, gentle nature of Greyhounds make them the perfect addition to a new family. Their calm temperament would be a wonderful contrast to a new family’s busy life.

The Greyhounds’ sweet and gentle nature make them perfect companions. (Image Credit: Canadian Mattress Recycling)

The key takeaway is to teach children not to bother a Greyhound’s nap – or to surprise a Greyhound with sudden movement if they’re lying down or sleeping. These general pointers apply to other breeds, though, and aren’t Greyhound exclusive.

Overall, Greyhounds make fantastic family pets. Even though they’re a larger dog breed, and can seem intimidating around children compared to smaller dogs, the Greyhounds’ sweet and gentle nature can make them perfect companions.

Adopting a Greyhound

In Vancouver, the Greyhound community is filled with passionate owners and advocates willing to lend a hand if you decide to adopt a Greyhound. For example, when we spoke with NCGL and attended their fundraising gala, it was clear that the owners all had the breed’s best intention in mind. Many of them attend local activities and meet-ups, with most of them Greyhound-friendly!

The Greyhound community is filled with passionate owners willing to lend a hand with your own adopted Greyhound. (Image credit: NCGL)

Sometimes people feel adopting a dog may be stressful, or scary, seeing as they may not have the experience re-training them or helping them transition into their new home. However, with the presence of NCGL and its members, you know someone is always there to help if you ever need it.

Why Adopt?

One of the biggest draws of adopting a Greyhound is that as ex-racing dogs, they’re already house-trained. Of course, there will always be an adjustment period for the dog to get adjusted to its new home in your house, but often these dogs are well trained and extremely well mannered.

Some of the other Greyhounds NCGL rehomes may require more training, such as puppies. For example, earlier in 2019, a litter of pups were rehomed from Northern Alberta along with 15 other adult dogs including the mom of the puppies. 

Puppies will need more training compared to adult dogs. (Image Credit: NCGL)

Because these pups haven’t been trained as racing dogs, the new owner must be dedicated to training them from a blank slate, just like a puppy from any other breed. Even so, as we’ve found, the community at NCGL is always eager eager to share tips for training and taking care of a Greyhound! 

How to Adopt a Greyhound

If you’re located in Western Canada – you’re in luck!

Northwest Canadian Greyhound League (NCGL) oversees the fostering and adoption of retired racing Greyhounds in Northwest Canada. For the last twenty years, NCGL has placed many retired racing Greyhounds in their new, permanent homes.

Vancouverites can adopt a Greyhound through NCGL. (Image credit: NCGL).

Advocating on behalf of these gentle dogs, NCGL established a network with Greyhound adoption organizations in the states. Thus, NCGL works across borders to ensure the Greyhounds in their care receive the best quality of life after their racing days. Their chapters spans British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Washington State.

Visit their website to learn more about the organization, the breed, and the adoption process. To see the Greyhounds available for adoption, go here. If you have questions about the adoption process, email Ms. Judy Miller at

Final Words

As more Canadians choose to adopt a dog these days, it is important to make sure the breed you adopt suits the lifestyle you live. For apartment dwellers, many would start looking for a smaller dog. However, as we learned, Greyhounds suit the apartment lifestyle despite their size. Their easy going temperament, need for a few short walks a day, and penchant to curl up on your couch to sleep the day away, make them a fantastic companion.


Canadian Mattress Recycling Inc. is pleased to feature Northwest Canadian Greyhound League in its first quarterly charity feature. At our company, we firmly believe in supporting organizations seeking to improve the environment, animals, and communities around us. We are also grateful to have attended the NCGL’s For the Love of Dogs fundraiser gala early in the year, learning about the amazing work the organization does for the Greyhound breed.

Mattress Recycling: Why You Should Do It

Posted by pauloneal

Canadians landfill about six million mattresses each year across the country. Some provinces support mattress recycling programs. But not all of them do. And even within the provinces that have mattress recycling programs, services can be limited by regions and cities.

In British Columbia, Alberta, and Manitoba, private recyclers have set up shop to take residents’ mattresses off their hands. In Metro Vancouver, Canadian Mattress Recycling services over 10 municipalities, and their facility is open seven days a week to process items for recycling.

The truth is, most mattresses are still being dumped at landfills. Landfills are in charge of their own recycling programs, often diverting recyclable mattresses to private facilities for dismantling.

How Mattress Recycling Works

In the provinces (and cities) with mattress recycling programs, recyclers dismantle old beds and box springs. They take apart the beds layer by layer, sorting the materials for processing. Often, they work with foam, polyester, metal, and wood. The result from their efforts leads to a success rate of 95% to 100% of materials they recycle – these businesses can recycle up to 100% of the bed you sleep in!

But you may be wondering, why is mattress recycling important?

Reason #1. Mattresses take up space in landfills.

Landfills find disposing mattresses and old beds a challenge. Compared to other garbage, mattresses occupy 400% more space. Sometimes, too many mattresses dumped in landfills can cause overcapacity issues. Landfills then have to reject items or increase their space. However, it’s difficult for a landfill to expand these days due to environmental regulations. Therefore, landfills deal with mattresses by seeking out other businesses that can take them.

For example, in Metro Vancouver, Canadian Mattress Recycling provides recycling services for several municipalities. Landfills receive mattresses from residents and separate clean ones from dirty. Then, they ship the clean ones to our facility for recycling.

Reason #2. Mattresses can wear down landfill equipment. 

If you’ve ever tried lifting a mattress, you’ll find they’re usually pretty heavy. This weight poses a problem for landfill sites because the sheer weight and size can wear down equipment faster. Repairing these equipment can be costly for landfills, especially since they have other items to process. In comparison, recycling facilities that take mattresses are often equipped with specific tools to make mattress recycling easier and effective. Specialized equipment, tools, and processes all make mattress recycling possible.

Reason #3. Mattresses take decades to decompose in a landfill. 

A mattress kept in good condition lasts for a decade, sometimes even longer. So what does this mean when you dump one in a landfill? Mattresses dumped in landfills can take anywhere from 80 to 120 years before the mattress is fully decomposed. Now, consider how many mattresses a person uses in their entire lifetime, and you can start to picture why we need mattress recycling.

Reason #4. Decomposing mattresses release toxic chemicals in landfills.

Mattresses decomposing in landfills slowly release toxic chemicals. Manufactures treat some portions of mattresses with chemicals when they’re made. Foam and fabric can also contain chemical elements. When these materials decompose, they react to natural elements such as wind and rain. Exposed metal springs from bed frames can corrode. A toxic sludge builds up in the landfill’s soil. Then the next time it rains, this sludge seeps into the ground and runs off the site. Eventually, the chemicals from your bed end up in water systems, polluting the environment.

Reason #5. Recycling a mattress recovers valuable materials.

One reason that recycling is popular is because it recovers valuable materials for reuse. People may think recycled materials are flimsy, but that’s not always the case. When we talk about mattresses, think about the materials used to make them. Manufacturers often build mattresses out of expensive and high-quality materials so they last as long as they do. Therefore, it’s a shame to throw all that material away! A mattress recycler can often divert 95% to 100% of a mattress’s material. Coir, foam, metal, and fabric can be sent to secondary markets to be made into new products.


Mattresses can be difficult to recycle – but there are recyclers across Canada that are taking up the cause of reducing the number of mattresses that end up in landfills. If you’ve ever wondered why people even bother to recycle a mattress, simply consider how long it will take a mattress to decompose. Often, you’re looking at 80 to 120 years. Landfilling a mattress impacts everyone – from landfill sites to their operators, to residents and natural habitats. So if you can, recycle your mattress. It’s the right thing to do.


How To Recycle A Mattress On A Budget

Posted by pauloneal

How To Recycle Mattresses On A Budget

Sometimes an affordable way to join the recycling movement is all we really need.

Recycling can get expensive fast, especially if you’re hauling away an entire-truck load of junk or driving to multiple recycling depots. Rising cost of fuel and standards of living can make recycling seem out of reach for the average Canadian. However, here are some tips we have to help you recycle your old mattress on a budget. Together, we can reduce illegal dumping in our neighbourhoods!

1. Transport the mattress by yourself

A cost-effective way, transporting your own mattress to a recycling facility can save you money on a pickup service. If you have a truck, or know someone who has one, use it to transport your old mattress to a nearby recycler. Even if you don’t have a truck, consider renting a U-Haul for a few hours.

2. Ask a friend or family member for a favour

Transporting a mattress (or two) can be difficult, especially considering how heavy they are! Also, if you don’t have a reliable vehicle, we recommend asking a friend or family member for help. Treat them out to a drink or two, or a lunch or dinner, as a way of saying thanks. Altogether, you’ll be saving a lot of money on vehicle rentals, gas, and labor costs that would normally come with hiring a pickup service.

3. Compare mattress disposal service prices

Most junk removal companies offer mattress disposal services. These services include at-home pickups where they send professionals to haul your mattress away. They also include recycling services, making sure your item gets sent to the recycler instead of a landfill. However, pricing can be complicated. Some companies charge by weight of the load or by item only. Depending on what you want recycled, and the quantity, certain services may be more suitable for your needs.

4. Look into producer take-back programs

Did you know about IKEA’s mattress take-back program?

If you buy a new mattress from IKEA and have it delivered to your house, you can also off-load your old mattress onto them. Their professional crew will take your old mattress out and swap it with the new one. Then, IKEA will send the used mattresses to the appropriate recycler in your area.

5. Check your city’s large item pickup program

Cities like Surrey and Langley have special large item pickup programs. Each year, residents can get the city staff to haul away up to 4 large items for free. Mattresses and furniture are popular items that get taken away by these programs. Rest assured, most cities will dispose of your old beds at a recycler.

Remember to check your city’s specific large item pickup program, or inquire if they have one.

Bonus: Drop off your mattress at a junk drop-off event

Cities may hold free junk drop-off events throughout the year to encourage recycling of larger, harder-to-recycle items.

For example, the City of Surrey’s annual Pop-Up Junk Drop-Off days occur in the summer. These events attract hundreds of residents who have an old bed or two that need disposing of. Simply make sure you qualify to attend events like these, bring necessary ID, and come prepared with your junk.

Commonly Asked Questions

Can I just donate my old mattress to a second-hand store?

We get this question a lot – and unfortunately, we have to say ‘no’. Due to sanitary reasons, and the difficulties in cleaning an old mattress for reselling, many organizations and reuse stores do not accept mattresses. Even if they do collect them, they throw the mattresses into landfills or arrange a pickup with a mattress recycler.

Old mattresses can be unsanitary, mouldy, and/or contain bed bugs and other pests that these businesses and charities do not want to deal with.

Can I donate my furniture to a store?

Yes, furniture is a different story compared to mattresses. There are organizations around that take furniture donations, and refinish them to sell in their restores. Habitat for Humanity comes to mind. These furniture end up in someone’s home, instead of the landfill.

Can I just leave a mattress on the side of the road / in an alley? Someone put one there before and the next day it was gone!

We do not recommend dumping mattresses in this manner! This is considered illegal dumping and you can be fined, if caught. Even if you’re not caught, randomly dumping mattresses can attract pests or cause the spread of pests, if your mattress has bed bugs. This is a massive sanitary issue, therefore we recommend you follow the correct procedures to dispose of your mattress.

A common thought is that, if you see someone illegally dump a mattress, and it disappears the next day, that someone must have taken it to use, right?

On the contrary to popular belief, these mattresses are rarely “picked up” by someone looking for them. Most people do not pick up mattresses or furniture off the streets due to concerns of pests. Similarly, if it rains overnight, then the mattress cannot be used anymore.

In reality, when illegally dumped mattresses are spotted by residents, city staff are called in to haul them away to the landfill. So if you illegally dump a mattress, and it vanishes the next day, it’s not because someone has taken it to use. It’s because the city has come by to clean up your mess.



We hope that this blog post is helpful in your spring cleaning efforts this year. When we all do our part to dispose of our junk responsibly, it keeps our city streets clean, and our environment greener. We end up reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, and diverting waste from landfills. Sometimes recycling mattresses can seem a daunting task, especially if you’re on a budget. We hope that this blog gives you ideas on how to recycle them. From taking advantage of city drop-off events to using their large item disposal program, there are many ways to keep costs down while you go about your cleaning!



Canadian Mattress Recycling Inc. is Metro Vancouver’s only mattress recycling facility, located on Annacis Island. We work with cities and community partners to divert mattresses from landfills. We recycle over 95% of every mattress we receive through our doors. Since 2011, we’ve recycled over 25 million lbs of mattresses and supported over 90+ community organizations around the world.  Join in our conversation on Twitter and Facebook!