Online mattress sales are bad for landfills, good for Charleston recycling companies

Charleston Mattress, a local mattress manufacturer and seller, owner KC Rennie launched BedShred in July 2015 after seeing the major impact of discarded mattresses on landfills.

Mattress foam ready to be recycled into carpet padding and other materials

Since then, the online service has helped keep over 125,000 mattresses out of landfills through aggressive recycling and disposal procedures in conjunction with Nine Lives Recycling in Pamplico, SC, where materials are stored and processed.

“We started BedShred primarily to dispose of old mattresses whenever we delivered new ones through The Charleston Mattress, just because we didn’t want to keep taking them to the landfill,” said Rennie. “They are torn down, destroyed and never used in new mattresses – the foam becomes carpet padding and the metal goes to scrap and the wood disappears very quickly.”

The wood for the box springs is donated – often making its way into various salvage projects, according to the BedShred website.

Mattresses take up space in landfills and pose challenges for machinery and the environment

The pandemic has been a boon for some furniture companies, including online mattress sellers that cater directly to consumers. Sales in 2020 grew 30% year-over-year, according to an expert who spoke with United States today.

Something you don’t get with an online mattress order? The transportation service of your old mattress you might get if you order from a brick and mortar store, leaving you with an old mattress that goes straight to the landfill if you leave it for curbside pickup.

This is where BedShred comes in. Rennie said many of her customers are actively looking for a better way to get rid of their old mattresses.

“I would say 40% of BedShred are people who want to dispose of their mattresses the right way, who don’t want to see the metal go to waste and be buried,” he said.

The numbers are good news for landfills, which face great challenges from improper mattress disposal. They take up more than their fair share of space because they are difficult to compact, clog machinery, and create large, soft spaces that can turn into sinkholes after filling, according to the Green Business Bureau.

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