21-Dec-2018: Pavitra Sriprakash, Director and Chief Designer at Shilpa Architects Planners Designers writes a weekly column on Sustainability for The New Indian Express titled “ECOLOGIC”. This week she writes about responsibly recycling old mattresses when a new one is purchased..
Full article below: (Also available at The New Indian Express Website)
A recent experience of ordering a new mattress for my father has made me mattress savvy- rather mattress recycling savvy. The tough decision to renew a mattress presents itself to pretty much every one of us – maybe not ever so often, but it does happen that the current one sinks, it doesn’t feel firm enough anymore, or it has become lumpy. For many reasons it is possible for one to feel the need to switch out their mattress – however what is difficult is the process of responsibly getting rid of them..
If not, what happens next is the worst possible situation – a mattress gets thrown out of the home and becomes a part of the city landfill. Developed countries have councils that deal specifically with “Mattress Recycling”. The facts from one such agency The Mattress Recycling Council in America are indeed frightening – their country disposes roughly 15 to 20 million mattresses every year. If we were to do the math on how much space that actually takes up – it is about 25 container ship-loads every year going into dump yards.
Sites like Olx and Quikr, can be used for this. If this also fails, consider ways to donate the mattress – to people that could be working in a household or to charities that deal with children, older people and even animals. If that fails as well, it is worthwhile to consider taking the mattress apart and reusing its parts. There is on average about 10 kgs of steel which can be taken out and sold for scrap. The foam can be used around the house to make smaller cushions, carpets, pet bedding etc.
So, the next time you have this unique requirement of changing a mattress – think outside the box! Get a solution that is useful to someone else as the first option. If that fails, think of how to responsibly recycle it instead of slyly taking it to a dumpster on the street and abandoning it there.