How To Recycle A Mattress On A Budget

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Budget Mattress Recycling

Sometimes, all we need is an affordable way to join the recycling movement. Recycling can get expensive really fast, especially if you’re looking to haul away an entire truck load of junk. With the rising cost of fuel and standard of living, it’s no surprise that junk removal can be expensive for the average Canadian.

Likewise, when you’re moving or replacing old mattresses and furniture, the last thing you want to worry about is a massive bill.

Therefore, we’ve put together some cost-effective ways to recycle your large items, namely mattresses, on a budget.

How To Recycle Mattresses On A Budget

1. Transport the mattress yourself

Transporting your own mattresses may be cost-effective if you have a pickup truck or can access one. Even renting a U-Haul may be more affordable than booking a disposal bin for your waste.

This is perfect for those times when you have an item here or there to recycle, such as a box spring and mattress, or several mattresses.

Remember: pay attention to special levies associated with the item you’re dumping. Landfills may charge extra for specific loads, while recycling facilities have different rules you must follow.

Be sure to call to get a full quote, or to inquire about disposal rates.

It’s never a good feeling to see hidden fees on your receipt.

2. Ask a friend or family member for a favor

Transportation may be an issue for more city-folk, so we have another suggestion: to ask a friend or family member to borrow a vehicle. Also ask if they can give you a hand in lifting your mattress or furniture down the stairs and onto the back of their truck. These items can be heavy to lift by yourself, or even dangerous. Therefore, be sure to ask for help when you need it!

3. Compare mattress disposal prices

Many recyclers and junk removal companies offer mattress disposal services. These services can include at-home pickup, where they send professionals to haul your mattress out of your home and into their truck. Their services could include recycling your mattress, or at least making sure they get disposed of properly.

Remember that not all private services cost the same. Some companies may charge by weight or load, or by item only. Some may charge based on distance or project.

Getting quotes from multiple companies is a good way to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

We recommend choosing the most transparent and cost-effective company. This may require asking about whether the company recycles, is committed to the environment, or even as simple as whether they have any hidden fees.

4. Look into producer take-back programs

Well known for its mattress take-back program, IKEA takes back your mattresses when you buy a new one, and have it delivered from them. Because when they drop off your mattress, it’s as simple as letting the IKEA crew to haul your old one away. Costs to look out for include delivery fees and the cost of a new mattress. Learn more about this program on the IKEA website.

5. City Waste & Garbage Disposal Programs

If the above options don’t work for you, have you tried contacting your city’s garbage disposal and waste department? Sometimes cities have specific programs that help residents dispose of large items like mattresses and furniture. Commonly called “large item pickups”, you may find that you can book a free pickup through your city.

For example, the City of Surrey allows up to 4 items to be picked up through their large item pickup service in a year, per resident. This is a handy way to dispose of an old mattress and box spring, or a futon.

Other cities such as Burnaby allow unlimited items to be picked up, as long as you are a resident and follow their procedures.

Most of your clean items get diverted from landfills at the transfer station by the city employees, so you can rest assured your mattresses and old beds are recycled.

Bonus Tip #6: Check if there’s a junk drop off event near you.

Sometimes through out the year, your city may hold events encouraging residents to drop off their old junk. For example, the City of Surrey holds annual Pop Up Junk Drop-Off days in the summer where city staff would take your old junk, like mattresses and box springs. All you have to do is be a resident of the city and transport your item to the drop off site.

Be sure to take a look at the appropriate sites for accepted items, procedures, and what you should do before you attend one of these.

City of Surrey: Pop Up Junk Drop Information

Example: City of Surrey’s Pop Up Junk Drop Information

The benefit of attending these events is that the city staff often take accepted items free of charge. It saves you recycling fees, as well as tipping fees at the landfill. Events such as these encourage residents to dispose of their junk properly, instead of landfilling it. Also, these events help reduce illegal dumping, so be sure to take advantage of these events!

To stay updated about potential future events, be sure to follow your city’s Twitter and/or Facebook page. Subscribe to their newsletters if they have one. Or, head over to a community center or library to check out the latest flyers.

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!


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