Archive for August, 2019

What is Mattress Recycling?

Posted by pauloneal

What is mattress recycling?

Mattress recycling is the process of dismantling a bed for reuse and recovery. The materials inside a bed are separated, sorted, and then sent to factories for re-manufacturing. The mattress recycling process eliminates landfill waste caused by the dumping of old beds. They’re becoming an essential service for today’s modern cities.

History of Mattress Recycling

Before mattress recyclers, mattresses were dumped in landfills or donated to charities for reuse. There wasn’t a lot of places mattresses could go until recycling companies opened their doors. However, when companies started mattress recycling services, they still shipped many beds and parts of beds overseas for end-markets. Other times, these companies acted as intermediaries, collecting and sending mattresses to the US for disposal and recycling. Only when Canadian entrepreneurs launched dedicated mattress recyclers were these beds recycled at home, reducing transportation costs and CO2 emissions.

In the 2010s, cities such as Vancouver set a levy for mattresses dumped at landfills to offset the disposal cost. This levy encouraged businesses and residents to take their clean or gently used mattresses to recyclers instead. This way, the only beds that end up in landfills are ones contaminated by bed bugs, mould, or are soaked through with water. In part, because of the levy, mattress recyclers can finally compete on the market.

The first mattress recycler in BC opened their doors in 2008. Several years later, Terryl Plotkinoff launched Canadian Mattress Recycling, a dedicated facility on Annacis Island serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Since then, several other mattress recyclers have opened their doors across Canada, including Re-Matt in Calgary, Mother Earth Recycling in Winnipeg, and Ellice Recycle in Victoria, BC.


Mattress Recycling in British Columbia

In BC alone, mattress recyclers provides over 46 jobs for residents. In Metro Vancouver’s report prepared by Morrison Hershfield titled “ Assessment of Economic and Environmental Impacts of Mattress Recycling in BC”, a reported $300,000 worth of recovered materials are generated each year for the end-market by mattress recyclers (2017). The same report notes that recyclers save landfills close to $500,000 a year in operation costs.

Another way mattress recyclers support local cities is by reducing illegally dumped items. Illegally dumped mattresses cost cities approximately $50/unit to pick up and remove. It wastes over $5 million dollars of taxpayer money each year in BC.

However, cities with mattress recyclers often report lower rates of illegal dumping. Affordable recycling rates and accessible hours and services encourage residents to dispose of their mattresses responsibly.

Mattress Recycling Programs

Since then, mattress recycling has grown to support a niche industry worth over $1 million across Canada. BC’s mattress recycling industry alone generates between $300,000 to $500,000 a year, depending on residential and commercial disposal volumes. Some factors include the growing environmental movement across the country and commercial marketing by mattress suppliers such as IKEA and Sleep Country (Source: Morrison Hershfield, 2017).

Mattress recycling serves as a necessary service in today’s cities. Mattress recyclers provide a service linking manufacturers with end-markets and offers an alternative to traditional disposal methods.

Mattress Recycling Intermediaries

Mattress recyclers not only deal with residents and commercial businesses. Junk removal companies and independent junk removers also benefit from mattress recyclers. Acting as intermediaries, these companies send mattresses they collect to the recycler, often paying a special rate only available at these companies. In Metro Vancouver, companies routinely deliver old mattresses to Canadian Mattress Recycling.


Mattress recycling is a growing niche industry within the waste management sector. Although a difficult industry to enter with high operation costs and the need for specialized knowledge, several mattresses recyclers have flourished across Canada. One of these, Canadian Mattress Recycling, has been operating in Vancouver and the Lower Mainland for almost a decade. They alone provide an essential service for residents and businesses. In an age where environmental sustainability is important, and climate change is the biggest challenge of the century, residents and businesses are beginning to see mattress recycling as a necessary service.


Best Ways to Get Rid of Old Junk Responsibly

Posted by pauloneal

Old junk, such as appliances, furniture, and mattresses can clutter up one’s home. When it’s time to do a deep clean, as people do a few times each year, the question becomes, ‘how do I dispose of old junk?’

For starters, many people choose to landfill their old junk. They either transport the items themselves to a dumpsite or transfer station, or hire a junk removal company to do it.

This may seem the responsible thing to do, but it actually may not be.

In fact, the items going into landfills such as these appliances and furniture can be recycled or repurposed. Materials such as rare metals and fabrics lose their value when dumped in landfills. However, if they’re recycled, these materials can be stripped apart, sorted, and used to create new products. Further, while the item may seem worthless to you after all these years, it may actually be very valuable to recycle and repurpose.

1. Recycle Your Old Junk

Often people think that trying to recycle everything creates stress in one’s already busy life.

Of course, when you’re a busy parent juggling work and childcare, recycling may be the last thing on your mind. Likewise, if your long work day leaves you tired, it’s understandable that you may not be in the mindset to dispose of your junk properly.

However, reusing, repurposing, and recycling has become more convenient these days for the average person.

Recycling Your Old Junk Can Actually Be Convenient

In cities like Vancouver, recycling can even be more convenient and cost effective than dumping junk in landfills.

Common junk such as old fridges, dishwashers, and laundry machines are some of the easier items to recycle. Many places take these items for recycling because the metal components can be traded and sold.

Likewise, another popular  ‘junk’ item that can be recycled are mattresses. Mattress recyclers take care of old beds and bed frames so that they don’t end up in landfills.

At the very least, if recycling is out of the option, think about how you can repurpose the item.

2. Repurpose Your Old Junk

It can surprise people how often we mistake old junk for trash. Just because the item is worn or old, it doesn’t mean it’s trash. In fact, repurposing the item can spark new love for it, or at the very least make it decent enough to sell to someone else.

How to Repurpose Old Chairs

When a stain gets onto a chair cushion, you might think it’s impossible to fix. Therefore, the chair must get thrown out so you can buy a replacement. However, cushion stains can be cleaned using natural products. Or, you could swap out the cushion and use a removable one instead with a couple of DIY fixes.

Stop throwing away stained chairs: try replacing the cushion instead. (Mustard Seed Interiors)

Simply remove the cushion and add padding to the exposed area, and then add a separate chair cushion. Many chair cushions come in interesting patterns and colours, which could make the old chair seem new again.

Alternatively you can always reupholster the chair using some DIY techniques. This requires you to have some tools on hand, but the results can be extremely satisfying.

Reupholstered chair using thrift store fabrics (Six Dollar Family)

How to repurpose wooden furniture

People also have trouble reusing wooden furniture such as coffee tables and cabinets. Quite a lot of these items get landfilled each year. Thus, we have some solutions to reduce this unnecessary waste.

Repainting wooden furniture

Look at the new table or cabinet that catches your eye, and ask why you like it. We’re often attracted to particular colors, or we just have a preference for specific styles of finishes and handles. Whatever the reason is, we have some ideas on how to keep the old furniture out of landfills.

Sometimes, a new coat of paint for your old furniture can give it an entirely new look. Get inspiration about the colours you like from the new furniture you’ve been browsing. Then, simply head to the paint section of a department store for a colour match.

Purchase a new pail of paint in the color that you like and paint over your old furniture. You can also look into buying spray paint. If you spray paint your furniture, remember to disassemble it and cover the area evenly.

DIY Furniture Repurposing Ideas (Home Design Inspired)

Refinishing wooden furniture

An old cabinet may pose a more difficult challenge for repurposing. We recommend sanding down scratch marks using sandpaper. Work your way from a coarser grit to a finer grit paper, and to apply it across the entire piece of furniture. Then, either apply a coat of finish or paint. Even just swapping out the handles for something modern can make your old cabinets look brand new.

DIY Refreshing Cabinet Design With New Coat of Paint and Handles (Home Design Inspired)


It’s easy to slip into the mindset that any item we have no use for is ‘trash’ these days. Hence, our default action is to throw the item out at the local dump. However, taking a step back to figure out if the old junk is actually trash can keep unnecessary items out of landfills.

A lot of old junk can be easily recycled, from appliances to mattresses to furniture. Similarly, furniture such as chairs, tables, and cabinets can be easily repurposed to extend their shelf life. Instead of stressing out about recycling or landfilling furniture, simply give it a new coat of paint.

You’d be surprised at how quickly a fresh coat of paint on a coffee table or wooden cabinet can brighten up your living space, turning what was once old junk into something desirable. Likewise, changing the upholstered cushions on a chair can be more cost-effective than buying a replacement. At the very least, repurposing an item adds value to it, and will make it easier to sell online if you don’t need it anymore. After all, what you might consider junk could very well find a place in another person’s home!

Canadian Mattress Recycling Inc. is a mattress and furniture recycling centre based in Metro Vancouver. Our facility is open for drop-offs 7 days a week (cash only for drop-offs). We also schedule and pickup furniture and mattresses from residents across Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Since 2011, we have recycled over 25 million lbs of materials that come through our doors. We take the recycling challenge seriously, working with residents and businesses to help them achieve their waste disposal goals.


3 Easy Ways To Reduce Your Waste at the Grocery Store

Posted by pauloneal

For many, grocery shopping is just another task to check off their to-do list. For most of us, it’s something we do last minute, especially when we forget an ingredient (or two). When we’re at the grocery store, we may not be paying attention to ways we can reduce our waste. We may think the only way we can be more sustainable is by going to a zero-waste store like Nada Grocery or to make sure the food we buy don’t go to waste.

However, here are 3 easy ways you can reduce your waste while shopping.

1. Bring reusable shopping bags

Nowadays, we’ve formed the habit of bringing a reusable shopping bag to the grocery store. But when we’re in a rush, or making a last-minute grocery run, we may forget our reusable bags at home. To avoid situations like these, keep a couple bags on you when you go out. Consider stashing a few away in your car, or folding a reusable bag so that it can fit in your purse.

Also, we find making a shopping list helps reduce the number of plastic bags we may need at the counter. Consider making a list and sticking to it or bring more reusable bags than you think you’d need. You never know if there’s a great deal at your local grocery store that you can’t leave without! This way, you won’t have to ask for extra plastic bags at the till or pay extra cents towards one.

2. Invest in a set of reusable produce bags

Another item we like to keep in our reusable shopping bags are reusable produce bags. Like these found on Amazon, reusable produce bags reduce the need to use the plastic ones provided by the store. The flimsy plastic bags can rip and tear. They are also often single use, thrown away in the garbage immediately upon coming home. Why not reduce this unnecessary waste by simply using reusable produce bags? Depending on the reusable produce bags you get, some are cloth based and biodegradable. You can wash most of them and reuse many times over.

3. Say no to receipts

Asking for a receipt or accepting one can be a force of habit. We like to keep track of the items we buy. We also like to make sure we’re charged correctly. Or, we want to keep receipts on hand in case we want to return an item. However, when was the last time you returned an item at a grocery store?

A side benefit of saying no to grocery store receipts is that you can reduce the temptation to return food items. Many stores will accept grocery items on return, but because of potential contamination, they throw the items away. It becomes easier to ask yourself – do you really need to buy it – when you can’t return the item later.

If you still prefer a receipt, ask for an e-receipt if it’s available. If you want to check the points on your account, consider signing up for an account online if the store offers it. This way, you can get updates often sent to your email address. If you’re concerned about the line items as the cashier scans your items, consider watching the screen while they scan. That way, you can catch mistakes early before paying.


These are the best ways you can reduce your waste while shopping for groceries at any store. Outside the common suggestions to avoid plastic-wrapped produce, our three suggestions will make you realize how easy it is to reduce your waste at the grocery store. Bring extra reusable bags, invest in a set of cloth produce bags, or even just say no to receipts at the counter.

What are your #zerowaste grocery store shopping tips? Share them with us on Twitter (@cdnmattrecycler)!

5 Ways to Get Rid of Old Junk

Posted by pauloneal

Spring cleaning might be over, but it’s not too late to get rid of old junk this summer. While most people choose to take vacations in the summer, it may be a good idea to avoid the crowds at touristy locations and long line ups to popular sights and stay home. Or, if you’re staying home this summer, consider taking the time to do some cleaning and tidying. You might have gotten on board with the Marie Kondo method of decluttering and sparking joy or you just want to get rid of the old junk sitting around your house. Whatever the reason, we’ve put together a guide with five ways to get rid of your old junk this summer.

Read on to find out what they are.

Tip 1: See old junk differently.

Tip 2: Recycle your old junk.

Tip 3: Donate your old junk.

Tip 4: Repurpose your old junk.

Tip 5: Sell your old junk.


Ocean Wise

Posted by pauloneal

In 2019, we made a donation to Ocean Wise on behalf of our employee of the month. Every month, we select an employee and make a donation on their behalf to a charity of their choice. Ocean Wise is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring the worlds’ oceans are healthy and flourishing. Their programs incluce Arctic Connections, shoreline cleanups, and administering the Ocean Wise Seafood program – the logo of which many of us have seen at local grocery stores and restaurants. They also educate the public about marine mammals through the Vancouver Aquarium and their rescue programs. We’re pleased to support Ocean Wise.

Canadian Mattress Recycling Inc. is Metro Vancouver’s dedicated mattress and furniture recycler based on Annacis Island. Since 2011, we’ve recycled over 25 million pounds of mattress and furniture, diverting them from local landfills. We’ve supported over 90+ organizations to date through our philanthropic initiatives. Read more about the other organizations we support here.