While it’s one of the great cliches of skip hire that every skip ends up with a mattress sticking out of the top, this can actually cause major problems if it happens to you.
Most skip hire providers charge extra to dispose of mattresses, or refuse to collect them at all – especially if they stick up above the maximum fill level of the skip, as this can be dangerous to transport.
So if your mattress has sprung its last spring, what can you do to get rid of it? Here’s the Forge Skip Hire Mattress Disposal Guide to answer the question for you.
1. Collection by skip hire provider
If you’ve hired a skip for some home DIY such as a bedroom refurbishment, it’s worth asking your skip hire provider if they can collect your old mattress separately.
It’s not unusual for skip hire providers to arrange individual collections for awkward items, like mattresses or fridge-freezers.
There will be an extra fee to pay in most cases but it’s not usually much, especially as part of your total budget for a bedroom redecoration.
2. Collection by council
Different local authorities have different rules about collecting bulky items like mattresses for removal and disposal.
In Leeds, there’s a £20 fee to remove up to four bulky items. You can only do this four times a year, too.
And it’s not as simple as counting a complete bed with mattress as one item. Leeds City Council classes this as four, including the mattress, the frame, the headboard and the slats (which are thankfully counted as a single item when bundled together).
3. Give it away
Believe it or not, your old mattress might be just what someone else has been looking for. This is especially true if you replace your mattress after the recommended seven years or even sooner, as many people out there are sleeping on mattresses well over a decade old.
If your mattress is still in relatively good condition – even if only on one side of a mattress that’s designed to be flipped – ask around friends and family or take to a local Facebook group and see if you can find someone who’ll happily take it off your hands for free.
4. Take it to the tip
Driving a mattress to the tip yourself is awkward but many people end up doing it because they’re not sure of the alternatives.
It’s usually free to dump a mattress at the tip. But add up the time you spend getting it there and any extra effort you have to put in to getting a suitable van or other vehicle, and it might be false economy.
Remember also that your local authority might not have the best performance when it comes to recycling mattresses – so if you want your old mattress to find a new life after disposal, keep reading.
Proper mattress recycling is very effective, but sadly quite rare. A good recycling facility will extract the metal springs, while recycling the padding for new uses like carpet underlay.
As much as 95% of the mass of a mattress is recyclable but far too many end up fly-tipped or in landfill sites. If you want to make sure yours is not one of them, find a mattress recycler or speak to a skip hire provider who you trust with environmental issues.