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Can I Get Rid Of A Mattress By Throwing It In The Dumpster?

Can I Get Rid Of A Mattress By Throwing It In The Dumpster?


Can you throw a mattress in a dumpster for disposal? We will cover everything you need to know about if you can dispose of a mattress in a dumpster and the many regulations around mattress disposal.

Getting rid of your old mattress can a tough process. Mattresses are big, bulky, and heavy and many landfills and donation centers are no longer accepting mattresses due to sanitary concerns and their inability to compress down.

Even if you can fit your mattress in a dumpster and you managed to lift it in, should you be disposing of your mattress this way?

The answer is. It depends on where you live.

The vast majority of cities in the United States no longer accept mattresses for disposal in their landfills and/or charge additional fees for mattresses. Therefore, dumpster companies will no longer allow you to put mattresses in their dumpsters.

It is important to check with your specific city or dumpster company to see what their specific rules are.

What Can You Throw In A Dumpster? 

Dumpsters are great for getting rid of lots of different types of garbage. There are lots of items that can be thrown in a dumpster, including: 

  • Fabric
  • Wood 
  • Metal 
  • Cardboard
  • Concrete 
  • Drywall 
  • Paper
  • Yard waste
  • Wallpaper
  • Tiles 
  • Aerosol cans

Just because these items are able to be thrown in a dumpster doesn’t mean that this is the best way to dispose of them. You should always try to recycle where possible rather than sending garbage to the landfill. 

Which Items Should Not Be Thrown In A Dumpster? 

Although dumpsters are really useful for getting rid of a variety of different types of trash, there are certain things that can’t be thrown in a dumpster. Certain things are not safe or allowed to be disposed of in a dumpster such as: 

  • Mattresses
  • Large appliances
  • Propane Tanks
  • Tires
  • Food waste
  • Batteries
  • Electronics 
  • Printer Cartridges
  • Paint 
  • Lightbulbs 

If you have items that you need to get rid of that can’t be thrown in a dumpster, you will either need to take them to a recycling center or landfill to be disposed of correctly, or you will need to pay for specialist removal.

There are companies who can collect your garbage, including large items, for a fee. 

Why Can’t Mattresses Be Thrown In A Dumpster? 

Mattresses cannot be thrown in a dumpster for several reasons. They are too large and don’t compress down like other trash, therefore landfills no longer are accepting them or are charging large fees for mattresses. This means that the dumpster company cannot accept mattresses because it is unable to be disposed of with their other trash.

Mattresses can also be considered as a biohazard because they can contain bodily fluids or bed bugs and other parasites.

If Not A Dumpster, Then Who Takes Mattresses?

1. A Bedder World Curbside Mattress Recycling – Nationwide


A Bedder World Mattress Recycling will come to your home and pick up your old mattress and box spring from your curb. They have recycled over 1 million mattresses to date and are a great eco-friendly way to get rid of your mattress. You can easily book and pay for a pick up online and now operate Nationwide.

2. Try A Local Donation Center


Many people think of Goodwill and Habitat for Humanity as the primary options when donating a mattress or box spring. But do donation places accept mattresses? The answer is, it depends. Most donation centers no longer accept all mattresses, they only accept them in specific conditions. Here are a few guidelines for what mattresses are generally accepted for donation.  


  • Must be less than 5 years old with manufacturer tag still attached
  • No rips, tears or stains
  • No bed bugs
  • Structurally sound without sagging or dips
  • Sanitized/cleaned and bagged before dropping off
  • CALL FIRST to make sure they will take your mattress.

3. Sell or Giveaway Online


If your mattress is in decent condition you will likely find someone who wants to take it off your hands for free or even pay you for it. Lots of people prefer getting a lightly used mattress over spending hundreds or thousands on a new one.

Be sure to take nice pictures and reassure potential buyers that it is free of stains and doesn’t have bed bugs.

4. DIY Mattress Recycling


If you are feeling adventurous and want to be resourceful you can recycle your mattress yourself. You start art by tearing open the mattress and separating out the foam and the steel springs. You can drop the foam at a local carpet manufacturer who will use it to make carpet padding (call first). Then you can take the steel to a scrap metal dealer and they may even give you a little cash for it.

There are several different ways that you can get rid of your old, unwanted mattress in a safe and responsible way. 

Will Your Old Mattress Get Collected When You Buy A New One? 

Some brick and mortar bed and mattress retailers have a mattress collection service. Occasionally it is included with the price of your new bed or mattress, but most of the time it comes at an additional fee.

Online mattress companies often do not collect your old mattress.

Will Garbage Removal Services Take Your Old Mattress? 

If you leave your mattress outside your home then it will likely not be collected along with your other garbage or will incur a large fee. However, you can schedule a special collection for bulky items with your usual garbage removal service.

There is often a fee for the removal of larger items, and the waiting time and how often you can schedule a pick up per year will vary depending on where you live. 


What About Bulk Mattress Disposal? 

Bedder World works with various businesses to help with commercial mattress disposal.

They can arrange a bulk collection of lots of mattresses, which is ideal for hotels, charities, schools, storage units and more. Some of their commercial clients include Hilton. Marriott, Casper, and Purple. 


You cannot throw mattresses in a dumpster, but there are lots of other ways that you can dispose of a mattress. A Bedder World can collect your mattress and recycle it for you, along with other items. 

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