13 votes

The mattress landfill crisis: how the race to bring us better beds led to a recycling nightmare

4 comments

  1. Shahriar
    Link
    Such an odd inclusion.

    I watch transfixed as a cherry-picker operator feeds mattresses into the machine as if they were fruit being fed into a blender. As the machine chomps bulky mattresses down in seconds, I think: this would be an excellent place to get rid of a body.

    Such an odd inclusion.

    9 votes
  2. skybrian
    Link
    There's a lot about scams surrounding the recycling industry, but no real explanation about why mattresses need to be recycled. It's just assumed to be common knowledge. Too bad; these assumptions...

    There's a lot about scams surrounding the recycling industry, but no real explanation about why mattresses need to be recycled. It's just assumed to be common knowledge. Too bad; these assumptions should be questioned.

    3 votes
  3. [2]
    rkcr
    Link
    This highlights a generally bothersome thing to me... if carbon/waste output isn't measured in cost, then people ignore it. "Free returns" sounds great, but the costs also then becomes invisible.

    This highlights a generally bothersome thing to me... if carbon/waste output isn't measured in cost, then people ignore it. "Free returns" sounds great, but the costs also then becomes invisible.

    2 votes
    1. skybrian
      Link Parent
      I'm thinking of how bottle recycling works. The price is paid at time of purchase. You don't pay to recycle bottles, you get paid. This seems like a good thing to make sure the bottles get...

      I'm thinking of how bottle recycling works. The price is paid at time of purchase. You don't pay to recycle bottles, you get paid. This seems like a good thing to make sure the bottles get returned? There's also a similar system for car batteries, where there is a "core fee" paid at time of purchase that you get back by returning the old battery.

      Similarly if we don't want abandoned or dubiously disposed mattresses then it would make sense to have some kind of deposit. The price of disposal should be included at time of manufacture.

      If the company is taking the mattress back for free, it seems like a similar thing is going on? The cost is either coming from investor subsidy (quite likely since there seems to be a bubble) or the purchase price. The shadiness is going on behind the scenes in the supply chain.

      2 votes