Recently our company had another discussion on the subject of recycling. We wanted to create and execute a plan that would make STL Beds a more environmentally friendly company. We tried to determine how our company could make the biggest impact by reducing our company’s overall environmental footprint. For a long time we did the small things like recycling aluminum, paper products, plastic bottles, and newspaper etc.
NOTE: STL Beds no longer offers mattress recycling.
In late October of 2007 STL Beds formerly STLBeds took a huge eco friendly step by offering our customers a choice in mattresses that are constructed from sustainable resources rather fossil fuels. Just as important these mattresses have no toxic chemicals. Having taken this big step we can now offer our customers the choice of being environmentally responsible when purchasing a mattress set.
I guess you could say in recent months we have become committed to the idea of owning a more earth friendly business. The STL Beds goal is to give back to the environment as much as possible through a dedicated recycling effort.
Here are a few of our ideas.
- Our findings determined that the biggest impact environmentally would come from recycling the old mattresses and boxsprings we haul away and dispose of for our customers. By recycling these old mattresses and boxsprings we could save much needed space in landfills for items that do break down and compost.
The fact is that mattress sets are designed and built to last for many years and therefore don’t break down properly. This is a great mattress characteristic for the consumer, but a very bad one for a landfill. We were disappointed to learn that at this time to our knowledge Jefferson County, St. Louis City and County do not have mattress-recycling programs in place. There is currently only a hand full of projects to recycle mattresses being offered across the country. We feel there has to be a way to utilize the raw materials such as the polyurethane foam, steel, and wood form old mattresses and boxsprings through a concerted or maybe even mandated recycling effort?
- Secondly we determined there is a way that we can make a large impact immediately. The amount of cardboard that we dispose of is quite incredible. The cardboard that is collected from protective packaging from such things as dressers, chest of drawers, and mattress boxes only goes to waste. The sad thing is to this point we are doing nothing but throwing this recyclable waste into our dumpster which ends up in the local landfill. We are currently working on this issue and will keep you up to date.
- Finally we throw away quite a large amount of plastic bags. These bags are used to wrap new mattress and boxsprings and pack various items that we sell. Currently we have recycled a great number of these mattress bags others have been recycled through reuse. Often people contact us looking specifically for mattress bags to protect their expensive mattress from damage during a move and we provide them at no charge. Moving companies often charge about $5.00 plus for a bag. Some people have also used these plastic bags to cover outdoor patio furniture in the wintertime while others use them protect their gardens from cold snaps and frost.
The hardest part of something like this is getting started; nevertheless recycling has to start somewhere so we decided recently to contact several local waste management companies. Here is a copy of the email we sent out.
To Whom It May Concern:
I own a small retail mattress store in the 63010 area and have been getting many inquiries about how customers can recycle mattress and boxsprings. I have a blog on my website that is at www.stlbeds.com . I intend on addressing mattress-recycling issues. I would be glad to put up any information you might have concerning those issues specifically directed at how people can properly dispose of a mattress set or ideally recycle them. I would be glad to credit your company (IESI, Allied Waste, Veolia and Waste Management of St. Louis) with any relevant information with free advertising on our website for providing such useful information to the general public.
Unfortunately only one company responded to my email.
The only company that responded to my inquiry was Waste Management of St. Louis. Company representative Melanie A. Ambridge who was very helpful called me to let me know that they did not have such a program in place. She did mention several alternatives to trashing the old mattress. I will provide that information in a future related blog. I researched the other waste disposal companies’ websites only to find that they did not offer mattress-recycling programs. Waste haulers please feel free to call us with changes to the previously mentioned information and will post and update your mattress recycling status.
How can we get mattress recycling?
Pressure your waste service with phone calls and letters telling them you want them to provide a mattress recycling program.
When we recover the materials used to build a mattress for reuse, if means one less tree, one less barrel of oil is needed to build something else. By recycling what we throw away STL Beds can reallocate money spent to dump trash and waste into a landfill into paying for services like hauling always recyclable materials such as cardboard and mattresses. We encourage you to reduce your waste by increasing your recycling efforts. Call your waste service and ask about recycling.
STL Beds has dedicated itself to setting aside just a few moments every day to organize recyclables. We are challenging you at home and work to do the same to help reduce waste and benefit the environment at the same time. By recycling, reusing, and buying products that have less environmental impact you to can do your part.
We will continue our efforts to contact various waste companies who are interested in solving this issue. If you know of a company dedicated to such efforts please comment below and we will give them a shout out. We would love to find a company willing to deal with the mattress recycling issue. We will be posting follow-ups to this blog in the future.
Come on (IESI, Allied Waste, Veolia and Waste Management of St. Louis) one of you can make a difference by recycling mattresses – who will it be?
- Would you like to have a mattress-recycling program in St. Louis City, North/South/West St. Louis County, Jefferson County, and Franklin County?
- Would you use a mattress recycle program if it were offered?
- How much would you be willing to pay to have a mattress properly torn down and recycled?
- Recycling is simple!
- Recycling can save you money on your purchases!
- Mattress Recycling would benefit the local economy!
- Mattress Recycling would create new jobs!
- Mattress Recycling would conserve fossil fuels / natural resources!
- Mattress recycling can save energy!
- Mattress recycling can reduce pollution!