Any decent hotel knows that mattresses aren’t forever. They need to be replaced on a consistent basis to offer guests a comfortable stay.
But what do hoteliers do with those old mattresses? A lot of them end up at the dump. According to the Mattress Recycling Council, more than 50,000 mattresses are dropped off at landfills every day.
“Getting rid of mattresses in a responsible way isn’t easy,” said Ryan Trainer, president of the International Sleep Products Association, in an interview with Bed Times.
“A growing number of landfills don’t want them, since they are bulky, hard to crush and can jam machinery,” Trainer said.
“There are third parties that will take or buy used bedding from retailers, but many of them are unscrupulous renovators, who often just sew a cover over a filthy used mattress, making no effort to properly sterilize the old bed or meet national fire safety standards, and then deceive consumers into thinking they are buying an all-new mattress.”
By recycling hotel mattresses, innkeepers can embrace a responsible solution that conserves resources. It’s a route the Hilton chain of hotels chose to take in 2012. Since 2015, the program has kept 1 million pounds of waste from landfills.
More than 95 percent of each mattress, box spring and bed frame Hilton replaces are turned into new products.
In late 2017, Hilton did a hotel-wide mattress recycling at its property at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, recycling 2,725 mattresses and box springs over the course of the month, diverting 187,230 pounds of waste from landfills.
According to USA Today, recycling hotel mattresses can yield new materials in a few different ways:
- Soft commodities like foam and fiber are compressed and turned into carpet padding, insulation, pet bedding, pillow and upholstery stuffing, mats and oil filters.
- Metal and box springs find their ways to scrap recyclers, who sell them to foundries and steel mills for use in tools, construction materials and car parts.
- Cotton can be recycled to make linen papers and oil spill containment.
- Wood is recycled and used to make flooring, wood pellets for biofuel, mulch, compost and pressed wood.
“You never know, you could be walking on flooring or sitting in a car made with parts of a mattress from a Hilton property you once stayed at,” Hilton executive Randy Gaines told USA Today.
As Janet Harrington of Global Sustainability Solutions notes, recycling hotel mattresses is good for the environment and for an innkeeper’s budget.
“Landfills are taking less and less, and their costs are increasing,” Harrington, Global Sustainability Solutions’ COO, said in a Lodging magazine piece last year. “It’s becoming cost-prohibitive to dump in landfills, so it’s simply less expensive to recycle.”
Is it time to replace the mattresses at your property? InnStyle can help. We carry a number of different high-quality mattresses, including:
- The Sealy Lovell Collection, built to deliver superior sleeping posture and back support with a durable encased coil for enhanced comfort and less motion transfer.
- The Tempur-Cloud Supreme Collection, featuring extra-pillowy softness, adaptive support and an innovative moisture-wicking SmartClimate system.
- The Premium Hybrid Collection, which offers guests the best of both worlds with a mattress made of foam and innerspring coils.
To find out more about our mattress collection, and all of our other bed and bath products, contact our sales team. We’ll be happy to help you find something that makes your guests more comfortable.