One of the most important things you need to do if you own a hotel, motel, rental property, or any other hospitality business is to update your establishment. While the project may cost you a lot of money, the investment will help your establishment remain competitive, attract more customers, or add features that give you an edge in the market.
A major part of your renovating project may involve replacing your old mattresses. But what should you do with them? Your first thought may be to throw them away so they end in the local landfill. But we digress.
How to Recycle Your Establishment’s Old Mattresses
The latest info on recycling tells us that things will become worse each year due to several factors—increasing human population, economic growth, consumer behavior, daily consumption, and many more. These factors are all but unavoidable; the garbage problem is simply the consequence of living in a continually advancing society.
However, we do have the tools, knowledge, and technology to slow down the trend. The ways are not particularly difficult, and everyone from individuals to governments can do these. One of these ways is recycling stuff rather than throwing them away outright. If you use some good recycling apps, you would see a lot of useful recycling data, from identifying items that can be recycled to locating the nearest recycling center in your area.
In hospitality businesses, mattresses are among some of the items that are recyclable. Yet, it’s also challenging to do so, given the weight, bulk, and variety of materials that it’s made of. Let’s make it easier for you so you can easily recycle your mattress.
Selecting the right mattress
Choose the right mattress for your hospitality business. By “right,” we mean ones that are made of eco-friendly materials. In general, mattresses that are made of natural latex foam tend to be the most environmentally friendly. But you can also compensate with other materials if you prefer a bed made memory foam, inner springs, pocketed coils, or some other material.
So when checking out mattress specifications, be on the lookout for covers and linen made of organic cotton, bamboo, rayon, and wool. These are all-natural, sustainable, durable, and renewable materials. Furthermore, these materials are inherently hypoallergenic and anti-bacterial.
It’s also highly recommended that you select mattresses that are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS), Oeko-Tex certified, and/or CertiPUR-US certified. There are other certifications, but these are some of the most common ones.
The first two certifications prove that the materials used in manufacturing the mattress are renewable, sustainable, and environmentally friendly. The third certification proves that your mattress is made without formaldehyde, phthalates, fire retardants, heavy metals, and other toxic substances or pollutants.
Look for brands that actively pursue eco-friendly initiatives
In addition to the usage of natural materials, you should also look for brands that are doing their manufacturing processes that are environmentally friendly. Consider these pointers:
- Choose a mattress that’s made locally. By keeping the production and transportation local, that manufacturer minimizes its carbon footprint.
- Choose a brand that ships directly from their manufacturing facility/warehouse to the end consumer. By implementing a direct-to-consumer business model, the manufacturer cuts the middleman, keeping the production in-house and making the distribution and transportation of products more efficient. In addition, without the middleman, the cost savings are passed on to the customer.
- Choose a brand with a defined corporate social responsibility, especially those that provide mattresses to needy people.
- Check if your chosen brand has a recycling policy. When it’s time to dispose of your mattress, you can ask the manufacturer to pick it up (or you can ship it to them) so the mattress could be properly recycled. Most recycling programs provide you some incentive such as a freebie or a discount on your next purchase.
Repurpose used mattress
If the mattresses are still serviceable, you can reuse them for other purposes. For instance, you can put a really nice cover on an old mattress. Put a few extra-large pillows on the mattress. Place it in a commonplace in your establishment. Now, you have an oversized couch for your guests to sit down, read magazines, or watch TV.
You can also give or sell used mattresses to your employees. Hotel-grade mattresses, even if destined for recycling or disposal, are still very usable in home settings. Your employees will be thrilled to receive high-quality mattresses free of charge or at a discounted price.
Donate used mattresses
Business owners are looking at ways on how to project a positive image to society. Your hospitality business can do this by implementing a corporate social responsibility (CSR). You can include in your CSR that your company donates used but still serviceable items, including mattresses, to people in need.
Ask your local church, charities, and non-government organizations on how to donate your used mattresses. Most of these entities would be really happy to receive such items as they provide immeasurable comfort to poor and homeless people. You earn a hugely positive reputation: don’t you just love it when prospects, clients, and the general public respect your hotel, resort, motel, inn, or B&B as a generous and caring business?
Send it to a recycling plant
Because of their bulk and size, mattresses are thought to be challenging to recycle. But according to Bye-Bye Mattress—an organization that specializes in mattress recycling—75% of a mattress can actually be recycled. Old mattresses can be taken apart, with each component being repurposed and reused.
Your local recycling facility would be the best option for you for recycling your business’s used mattress. Alternatively, you can send them to Bye-Bye Mattress. They will be the ones to send your mattress to specialized mattress recycling facilities.
If you’re running a hospitality business, you will inevitably need to update and renovate your establishment to remain competitive. If replacing your rooms’ mattresses is part of the project, perhaps you may want to recycle or repurpose those used beds rather than outright disposing of them.
About the Author
Lillian Connors is a Senior Content Developer at ACT-ENVIRO, with years of experience in developing content. Throughout her career, she always looked for ways to contribute to the environment in recycling efforts, while providing valuable information with her written articles. She’s deeply into green practices, cherishing the notion that sustainability not only makes us far less dependent on others regarding how we live and do business but also contributes to our planet being a better place to live on. When she is not trying to improve the things around her (and herself, for that matter), she likes to lose herself in a good book and sip on an occasional appletini.