Did you know it’s now illegal to throw your mattresses out on the curb?
Yes, you read it right. Effective November 1, 2022, mattresses are now banned from being disposed of in dumpsters.
The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) took another step forward and expanded the waste ban on textiles, which now includes mattresses. This means mattresses must be recycled, reused, and repurposed instead of thrown into the dumpsters. But what does this mean to you as an individual? What will happen if you don’t follow the new ordinance?
Here’s everything you need to know about Massachusetts’ new garbage restrictions.
Every year 23,000 tons of textiles are disposed of from residential and commercial entities, which poses a huge problem for waste management. Textiles account for a large percentage of landfill waste and cause damage to incinerators. According to MassDEP, they also face the same problem with mattresses. Thus, they implemented the mattress waste ban in Massachusetts. Being bulky waste, they are hard to transport and compact. They also damage incinerators and take up lots of landfill space. It is also noted that 85% of the textiles that are disposed of and 75% of the mattress components could be recycled, reused, or repurposed. To address this problem, the state has expanded the waste ban with environmental and economic benefits in mind.
Commercial food waste, mattresses, and textiles are the three new waste bans that are included. MassDep already has commercial food-waste regulation, but they made it even more strict by lowering the number of tons allowed to be collected per week. They have now lowered it to half-ton per week. Now, onto the mattresses and textiles.
Mattresses of all sizes are included in the ban; however, it does not include pads, toppers, sleeping bags, pillows, car beds, strollers, playpens, infant carriers, waterbeds, air mattresses, futons, and sofa beds.
For textiles, you cannot throw clothing, footwear, bedding, towels, curtains, fabric, and similar products.
However, if the mattresses and textiles are contaminated and deemed to be unrecyclable, they will be exempt from the ban. Items that are contaminated with mold, bodily fluids, insects, or hazardous substances will be separately disposed of using a different process.
Check out What Can’t You Put in a Dumpster?
As a homeowner, you are now responsible for recycling your mattress before throwing it out. Before disposal, you need to take out recyclable materials such as foam padding, fabric/fibers, wooden frames, and box springs. And let’s face it, it’s a hassle, and you probably don’t have extra time to disassemble your mattress. You might want to ignore it and just throw it out the curb anyway. Will you be fined? Unlikely, but your community will be in a pinch. According to MassDep, they will inspect residential waste and will fine the hauler, cities, or towns that break the rules.
We put up a list of things that you can do to lessen textiles and mattress disposal.
These days you might want to buy a new mattress for your guests or upgrade your own. Before buying, we advise that you ask the mattress company if they will take your old mattress for recycling. Some companies have these programs that can easily help you dispose of your mattress.
Did you know that mattresses are mostly made of recyclable materials? You can dismantle a mattress and take out foam padding, fabric/fibers, wooden frames, and box springs. These parts can be repurposed and used to create new products.
For textiles, like clothes or other household textiles, you can turn them into quilts or repurpose them as cleaning rags for your home.
You can donate any textiles you have at home, except for the ones that can’t be used anymore. Textiles that are wet, moldy, or contaminated should be disposed of, and you don’t need to worry, these textiles are exempt from the ban. To classify the things you can donate more clearly, here is a list:
a. Clothes are no biggie; you can easily donate them as long as they are in good condition. Clothes such as shirts, pants, jackets, suits, hats, belts, ties, gloves, scarves, socks, purses, and backpacks can be donated to thrift shops, orphanages, or any business or institute that accepts them.
b. You can also give away your footwear, such as shoes, sandals, sneakers, cleats, boots, flip-flops, and slippers.
c. Curtains, drapes, sheets, blankets, comforters, towels, tablecloths, rugs, pillows, and stuffed animals can also be donated.
While we have a lot of ways to recycle, reuse, and repurpose textiles, it is limited when it comes to mattresses. You cannot easily donate them, and many disposal businesses are still figuring out the process of recycling them.
Fortunately, Troupe Waste and Recycling is here for you. As far as helping customers who need to get rid of mattresses, we offer a box truck service for that.
There is a per-visit charge and then per item charge. We can take as few as one mattress, and there is no limit on how many we can remove. These mattresses are then brought to a mattress recycling facility. We offer the same service for other hard-to-get-rid-of items, such as TVs, appliances, furniture, and tires.
You can call us at 781-340-0030 and have your old mattress picked up today!