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How to Dispose of Your Old Mattress & Pillows

27 February 2024
How to dispose of your old mattress & pillows
Proper Disposal of Mattresses and Pillows

When your pillows and mattress lose the natural bounce and support they once had, it might be time for a replacement. But before you start ordering your new mattress, you might want to consider how you are going to deal with the old mattress and pillows.

If your mattress is in no condition to be reused, disposal is often the default option. In this article, we’ll help provide you with the proper way to dispose of your mattress and pillows to avoid flouting council dumping laws.

How to Dispose of Your Old Mattress

It doesn’t take a genius to work out that mattresses, whether king-sized or single-sized, won’t fit into the bin.

As a result, many homeowners make the unfortunate mistake of disposing of their old mattresses out on the side of the kerb, hoping that they will be picked up alongside regular bin collections.

The truth is that regular bin collection services won’t get rid of mattresses disposed of this way — not only is it not under their responsibility, but they also do not have the right equipment and time to collect it.

Mattresses left out in this way will inevitably remain there until the right removal service appears to remove them.

With that in mind, here’s how you are supposed to dispose of your old mattress.

how to get rid of old mattress

Book a pickup with a rubbish removal company

Rubbish removal companies are the best solution for getting rid of your old or unwanted mattress quickly and efficiently. They are equipped with removal trucks that can hold bulky items like mattresses and have teams of removalists that can carry it from your home and load it onto the truck. Rubbish removal services are usually available to be booked anytime, even on weekends and at late hours.

Check with your local council

The alternative to rubbish removal services is the local council service. Most councils offer hard rubbish removal services at various times throughout the year, but only on selected dates and up to a limited number of times. This service is not as available as rubbish removal services, but it’s still worth checking with your local council to understand when you can take advantage of it to dispose of an old mattress.

Arrange collection with the supplier of your new mattress

Some mattress suppliers or household stores offer a collection service for your old mattress when you order a new one from them. This service usually happens upon the delivery of the new mattress you’ve ordered — the delivery staff can retrieve your old mattress and load it up into their truck to dispose or recycle it elsewhere. It’s worth asking your mattress retailer whether they offer this service and if so, whether or not there will be an extra charge for it.

Sell or donate

Giving away or selling your mattress is an option if it’s still in relatively good condition. It’s a great way to extend the lifespan of your old mattress instead of having it go to waste in a landfill. Plus, it could help someone in need of a better mattress.

Check your mattress for any significant damage or deep stains before selling or donating it. If it’s not in a good enough condition to sleep on, it’s probably a better idea to dispose of it.

Disposing Old Pillows

How to Dispose of Your Old Pillows

Disposing of pillows is a little simpler; they’re not as bulky as mattresses and can usually fit in the bin. Old pillows should be tossed into your general waste bins, and not the recycling bin. Why? Because the filling inside pillows often contain flame retardants and other harmful synthetic or chemical that should not be processed during general recycling.

Considerations Before Disposing of Your Mattress or Pillows

Before your dispose of your mattress and pillows, there are some things that you should check to help you decide how to get rid of them:


Mattresses and old pillows in good and clean condition as suitable for donation or reselling. Doing so can help to reduce waste and provide others with a better night’s sleep. Severely damaged or stained mattresses and pillows are better off being recycled or disposed of entirely.

Recycling options

Most mattresses can be recycled with up to 75% efficiency. Depending on the type and make of your mattress, you should consider recycling it instead of opting to send it to a landfill where it will take up valuable space. Regular box spring mattresses are easy to recycle — the steel springs within can be extracted for use in construction, and the foam can be processed into underlay for carpeting.

How Often Should You Replace Your Mattress?

Modern mattresses won’t require replacements very often — most are designed to last between 8-10 years. Still, things like spills and damage can affect the durability of your mattress and reduce its lifespan. If you find yourself experiencing a lower quality of sleep due to discomfort or a bad smell from the bed, it may be time for a new mattress. Other signs that your mattress needs replacing include:

  • Lumpy or saggy parts of the bed
  • Tears in the mattress frame causing the filling to fall out
  • Insect infestations inside the mattress
Penalties and Fines for Mattress Dumping

How Often Should You Replace Your Pillows?

Pillows are supposed to be replaced every two years to maintain good support for your neck and head in bed. This isn’t a hard rule, however, as the exact timing can depend on the material of your pillow. Memory foam pillows, for example, have been claimed to last up to 10 years.

The best way to find out if your pillow needs replacing is to pay attention to your quality of sleep. If you consistently wake up with a sore neck or find that your pillow has lost its firmness, it’s time to change your pillow.

Penalties and Fines for Dumping Your Mattress

As we mentioned earlier, there are laws against improper disposal of mattresses in Australia. The fines for dumping your mattress in NSW can reach up to $250,000, coupled with an on-the-spot fine of up to $7500. Worse still, you may face up to 7 years of jail time as part of the penalties for dumping your mattress.

As Sydney’s leading rubbish removal service, we’ve helped many homeowners dispose of their old mattresses and pillows effortlessly and responsibly. Our mattress removal services are available round the clock, every day of the week, covering all areas in Sydney from Chatswood to Bankstown and everywhere in between. Book a service with us today!

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