Can You Put a Mattress in a Dumpster

The information in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. [Read our full health disclaimer]

Updated on February 16, 2023

Do you have an old mattress on your hands that you’re looking to part with? Now you might be wondering, can I put a mattress in a dumpster?

Though that dumpster at the end of the street might seem convenient, you could end up paying additional charges apart from removal fee for putting a mattress in a dumpster! 

In most cases, it’s not okay to put a mattress in a dumpster. Mattresses can become fire hazards, they can overload a dumpster, and they can cause issues for waste service vehicles. Local waste removal management services may levy a hefty fine against you if you toss out your old mattress without prior permission.

Keep reading because we’ll talk about some of the best ways to get rid of an old mattress and answer the question is it illegal to put a mattress in a dumpster?

Dumping A Mattress In Australia

The disposal of mattresses is a major environmental concern in Australia. Every year, millions of mattresses are dumped into landfills, leading to the release of harmful toxins and gases into the atmosphere.

This not only affects our environment but also leads to an increase in landfill costs for local councils. To address this issue, it is important for Australian homeowners to be aware of the various mattress discarding methods available.

white bear plush on sofa chair beside road

This mattress disposal guide for Australian homeowners provides a detailed insight into the different ways you can dispose of your old mattress. You can opt for local mattress disposal programs or hire a skip bin to get rid of your mattress safely and responsibly.

Alternatively, you could even sell your old mattress and make some extra money! Regardless of which method you choose, it is essential that you take all necessary steps to ensure that your mattress does not end up in a landfill.

Can You Throw Away A Mattress In A Dumpster?

When it comes to disposing of items, many people think that if they can fit something in a dumpster, then they can throw it away. However, this is not always the case. There are certain safety concerns and disposal regulations that prohibit certain types of junk and other waste from being disposed of in a dumpster.

If you’re unsure about whether or not you can dispose of an item in a dumpster, it’s best to check with your local public works department for a list of prohibited items.

One item that is generally prohibited from being thrown away in a dumpster is a mattress. Mattresses are bulky and difficult to break down into smaller pieces, so they take up too much space in the dumpster.

Plus, mattresses are made up of a variety of combustible materials such as foam, wood, metal springs, and plastic, all of which can release harmful toxins into the air when they decompose. Additionally, mattresses take up a lot of space in landfills and can take decades to break down completely.

Managing mattress disposal is essential for protecting the environment and reducing waste. Proper mattress disposal involves recycling or donating used mattresses whenever possible.

white ceramic pot on gray and brown wooden table

If neither option is available, then mattresses should be disposed of responsibly by taking them to a local landfill or hazardous waste facility. By properly managing mattress disposal, we can help reduce our environmental footprint and ensure that our planet remains healthy for future generations.

Can I Leave My Mattress By The Dumpster?

Leaving a mattress next to a dumpster is not recommended. Not only does it create an unsanitary condition, but it can also be dangerous. The mattress could become infested with pests or rodents, and the dumpster itself could attract other unwanted visitors.

Furthermore, leaving a mattress near a dumpster could lead to fines from local authorities for creating an eyesore in the neighborhood.

The best option is to contact your local waste management authority for more details on how to properly dispose of your mattress. They will likely take your mattress and recycle it, as mattresses are stripped by hand using different tools when recycled.

This ensures that all materials are reused and nothing goes to waste. Additionally, this helps keep our environment clean and safe for everyone.

Best Ways to Dispose of an Old Mattress

You might think that putting your old mattress into the local dumpster is the best and most convenient way to get rid of it. However, you should try several other options before resorting to illegal, wasteful, or potentially hazardous dumping.

When it comes to mattress disposal, Australian homeowners have a few options to choose from. Whether you are moving out or purchasing a new mattress, it is essential to choose eco-friendly mattress disposal ways. 

Getting rid of your old mattress is as easy as following five steps. Just be sure to:

  • Sell
  • Donate
  • Gift
  • Recycle
  • Skip Bin
  • Remove

By cycling through these steps, you can ensure a positive return on your mattress. If your mattress doesn’t put cash into your pocket, you may be able to donate it and claim a tax deduction on your gift or donation.

If your old mattress and box spring are in awful shape, you can recycle them and repurpose the parts, making new objects. And if none of these options appeals to you, take heart in knowing that many mattress purveyors offer free mattress removal services upon delivering your new mattress!


Selling a secondhand mattress is a great way to make some extra money. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your bed or just need to get rid of an unwanted mattress, selling it off can be the perfect solution.

There are plenty of websites out there that allow you to post an ad for selling a secondhand mattress. Gumtree and eBay are two popular options, allowing you to reach a wide audience of potential buyers.

person using MacBook Pro

When posting an ad for your mattress, it’s important to provide as much detail as possible about its condition and features. Include photos if possible, so buyers can get an accurate idea of what they’re purchasing. 

Of course, before you start taking photos of your old mattress and creating online sales posts, you’ll want to assess its condition. It’s crucial to be honest with yourself and with potential buyers when declaring your mattress’s state.

Don’t try to sell your mattress to private buyers if it has:

  • Bed bugs
  • Residue from pesticides
  • Mold growth
  • Significant staining
  • Rips and tears
  • Broken parts
  • Lingering odors

However, if your mattress is in great shape, you’ll want to take lots of high-quality pictures of the mattress. A variety of photographs taken from many angles and proximities will help boost buyer confidence and ensure that you remain a transparent, honest, and reliable seller.

You should also include information about delivery options and any additional costs associated with the sale. Once you have all the details sorted out, you can start advertising your mattress and wait for offers from interested buyers!


Craigslist is one of the longest-standing online marketplaces, and it could be one of the best options for those trying to sell an old mattress. Because Craigslist is a trendy site, sellers can attract a lot of free attention quickly.

Facebook Marketplace

If you currently use Facebook, you may want to try listing your mattress on Facebook Marketplace. This service helps you connect with buyers in your area, much like Craigslist. However, your seller ID is backed up by your current Facebook profile.

Additionally, you’ll be contacted by other Facebook users, allowing you to vet out potentially scammers or problematic buyers. Overall, those that feel unsafe or unsecure when using Craigslist might prefer Facebook Marketplace.

Used Goods Apps

There are quite a few apps you could use to help you sell your old mattress. Some of the most popular used goods apps include LetGo and OfferUp.

If you’re always on your smartphone or tablet, you may want to try one of these retail apps. They’re straightforward to use, and app-based notifications can help you stay up-to-date with interested buyers.

Local Retailers

Unless you live in a rural area, there’s likely a used mattress retailer in your town or county. If your old mattress is in great shape, your local used mattress retailer might be willing to come to pick it up and pay you for it.

assorted-color chairs

Just use your preferred search engine or GoogleMaps to find a used mattress dealer near you! Still, some retailers might turn you down, citing your mattress’s age or condition. If you feel like your bed is in excellent enough shape to do some good in the world, you can always donate it to someone in need.

Donating a mattress is a great way to help those in need. It can provide comfort and support to someone who may not have access to such luxuries. The process of donating a mattress is relatively straightforward.

First, you should contact a nearby charity or the city council to see if they accept donations of mattresses. They will inspect the mattress and determine if it is in usable condition before donating it to an individual or family in need.

The Green Shed is another great option for donating your mattress. This organisation accepts donations of furniture, appliances, and other household items that are still in good condition. They will pick up the mattress from your home or you can drop it off at their facility.

Donating your mattress through this organisation ensures that it goes directly to someone who needs it most. By doing so, you are helping those less fortunate while also reducing waste and clutter in your home. Donating your old mattress can make a huge difference in someone’s life and help them get back on their feet again.


Do you have a friend or family member that could benefit from using your old mattress? If so, you might want to give that mattress away as a thoughtful gift.

Of course, if your chosen recipient isn’t able or willing to pick up the mattress, you might still need to hire someone to help you move it to its new home. If you’re not looking to take this extra step, or you don’t know anyone who wants to take your old mattress, it’s time to consider recycling.

Is it legal to give away a mattress?

Generally, it is legal to give away a mattress. However, some states may have laws that prohibit giving away used mattresses or require certain safety or sanitization standards. It is wise to check your state’s laws before attempting to give away a mattress.

Bed with white linen with white walls

Additionally, if you are giving away an unused mattress or one in near-perfect condition, be sure to include a disclosure and disclose any known damage caused by pet activity, smoke, or other issues.

Recycling Old Mattress 

Some mattresses are too tattered and torn to live another life cycle with new owners. But if you can’t sell, donate, or give away your mattress, there’s no need to panic. Recycling your old mattress is a positive, simple, and often affordable solution.

One of the easiest options for mattress recycling is by looking for a recycling center near you. Many cities offer mattress recycling programs and services to help you get rid of your old mattress without harming nature. Soft Landing is one of the top non-profit recycling services that operate in Victoria, Western Australia, ACT, and NSW.

They provide free collection services for mattresses and other furniture items from residential homes or businesses. They then break down the mattresses into their component parts which are then recycled or reused in various ways such as being used as insulation material or stuffing for pet beds.

This process not only reduces landfill waste but also helps create new products from existing materials.

What Happens In Mattress Recycling

Mattress recycling is a process that helps to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills. The mattress recycling process begins with the collection of mattresses from households or businesses. The mattresses are then taken to a facility where they are dismantled and the components separated for further processing.

The components are then sent to different companies for reuse or recycling. For example, steel springs can be melted down and used to make new products such as car parts or furniture frames while polyester can be turned into insulation material or carpet padding.

brown and black german shepherd lying on white textile

Cotton is often shredded and used as stuffing for pillows or pet beds while synthetic materials may be broken down into their component parts and reused in various ways. By following these practices, mattress recycling ensures maximum recovery of resources leading to minimum waste disposal into landfills.

There are several companies in Australia that specialize in mattress recycling. These organisations use various methods to process up to 75% of the materials from a single mattress for reuse. This helps to ensure maximum recovery of resources and minimal waste disposal into landfills.

The recyclable materials from mattresses include steel springs, foam, wood frames, fabrics, and more. By using these recycled materials instead of new ones, manufacturers can save money while also helping the environment by reducing their carbon footprint.

Skip Bin

Skip bins are a great way to get rid of your mattress without any extra running. You can easily find a skip-for-hire near you and make a booking online. This is an efficient and cost-effective way of disposing of your mattress, as it eliminates the need to transport it yourself.

The skip bin services often resort to recycling your disposed mattresses, instead of dumping them on landfills. This helps reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and also helps conserve natural resources.

The skip bin services are also very convenient as they provide you with all the necessary equipment for loading and unloading the mattress from the bin. They will also take care of all the paperwork involved in disposing of your mattress, so you don’t have to worry about it.

Furthermore, these services usually offer competitive rates, so you can save money while getting rid of your old mattress in an eco-friendly way.


When all else fails, it’s time to consider mattress removal. Fortunately, you have tons of options. But these can be divided into two primary categories. Firstly, there are paid mattress removal services. These are typically low-cost pick-up services scheduled for specific locations and dates.

White Bed With Bedspread Near Window

Secondly, there are free and low-cost mattress removal services offered by mattress retailers. If you’ve purchased a new mattress to replace your old one, you might save a small bundle (and some frustration) by asking the mattress purveyor to haul away your old model when they bring the new one.

Let’s explore both of these options to ensure you choose the right one for you.

Mattress Removal Services

Mattress disposal service is a great way to get rid of your old mattress without having to worry about the hassle of loading it into a skip bin. This service can be hired to take care of the entire process, from picking up the mattress and transporting it away, to disposing of it in an environmentally friendly manner.

It’s also beneficial for those who may not have access to a skip bin or other means of disposing their mattress. The team will come to your home, remove the mattress from its frame, and then transport it away for proper disposal.

Man collecting trash on curb

This type of service is especially useful if you have limited mobility or don’t have access to a vehicle that can transport the mattress. It also eliminates any potential safety risks associated with lifting and carrying heavy items.

Plus, you won’t have to worry about any additional costs associated with hiring someone else to do the job for you. By hiring a professional mattress disposal service, you can rest assured that your old bedding will be disposed of in an eco-friendly manner that won’t harm the environment.

Buying a New Mattress

When you buy a new mattress, your retailer may offer to pick-up your old mattress upon delivering your new model. If so, ask if there’s an associated cost for this service.

In many cases, there isn’t. And when there is a mattress removal fee, it’s usually incredibly affordable (less than $50).


Final Thoughts

You shouldn’t put your mattress in a dumpster. If you dump a mattress without permission, you may face fines. And many local waste removal services charge mattress removal fees. As such, putting a mattress in a dumpster is one of the worst ways to dispose of an old mattress.

If your mattress is in good shape, you could sell it, donate it, or give it as a gift. Of course, if your old mattress is badly stained, infested with bugs, or torn, you’ll likely want to recycle it or have it hauled it away. All of these solutions are more rewarding than tossing it into a dumpster.

Article Sources

  1. Rovira Alcázar, R. (2020, July 28). Study and definition of a sustainable industrial recovery plant: mattress waste recovery plant.
  2. Griffiths, T., Coe, C., Fiori, F., & Berry, I. (2013). Mattress recycling. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Waste and Resource Management. 166(4):158-166.
  3. Smith E. (2021, May 05). The Ergonomics of Recycling Mattresses in Australia.
  4. Sołtysiński, M., Piszczek, K., Romecki, D., et al.,(2018). Conversion of polyurethane technological foam waste and post-consumer polyurethane mattresses into polyols–industrial applications. Polimery, 63(3):234-238.
  5. Lane, R., Horne, R., & Bicknell, J. (2009, June 10). Routes of reuse of second-hand goods in Melbourne households. Australian Geographer, 40(2):151-168.
Bree Taylor - Lead Editor

Lead Editor

Bree is an interior designer with a passion for helping people improve their sleep quality.

She specializes in creating comfortable and functional bedroom spaces that promote a good night’s rest.

When she’s not testing mattresses or helping people get the best rest possible, Bree loves to travel and explore new cultures.

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