Thousands of mattresses in landfills when they are recyclable

 Thousands of mattresses in landfills even though they are recyclable

The vast majority of ecocentres do not collect mattresses in Quebec, according to a survey by RECYC- QUEBEC. Several obstacles persist regarding the recycling of this bulky waste, which very often ends up in landfills and which takes a hundred years to biodegrade.

The 2018 report on the management of residual materials produced by RECYC-QUÉBEC reveals that out of 230 responding ecocentres across the province, 54 recover mattresses, which is approximately equivalent to 964 tonnes per year.

Quebec companies specializing in mattress recycling ensure that 95% of materials are recyclable. The most common components of mattresses are steel, polyurethane or polyether foam, polyester, wood, felt, latex and cotton.

However, a study produced in 2017 by the Center of Excellence for the Valorization of Residual Materials (CEVMR) of the University of Sherbrooke was pointed out that the proportion of recycled materials would rather be around 70%. This would be due to material loss during disassembly and shredding. These losses may be lower if more efficient technology is used. & Nbsp;


The landfill site in Terrebonne, which serves including the City of Montreal, will reach its full capacity in 2029. Mattresses are bulky materials that could be upgraded, which would save a lot of space in landfills. In addition, the transport to bring waste to these sites is expensive, which has a fiscal impact for citizens.

The Montreal Regional Environment Council estimated in 2015 that the cost of landfilling material in landfills was around $ 85 per tonne. Between 150,000 and 200,000 used mattresses are generated annually in Quebec. In Montreal, this represents more than 32,000 mattresses for a total of 640 tonnes. Thus, to ship mattresses only, it costs the City more than $ 50,000 annually.

However, municipalities that want to offer citizens a material collection system not covered by the provincial regulation on the recovery and reclamation of residual materials must bear the costs. In the city of Granby, for example, a special tax to deploy a recovery service for mattresses and other bulky items is imposed on citizens. The amount of this tax was $ 45 in 2016. & nbsp;

Other issues are hindering cities from setting up a mattress recovery system, such as the lack of storage space and the issue of sanitation, in particular the danger posed by bedbugs.


If a person wishes to recycle their old mattress, RECYC-QUÉBEC first suggests contacting a retailer of the large chains specializing in the sale of mattresses. Often, when purchasing a new mattress, these companies offer a used mattress take-back service. This service is sometimes free or can cost around $ 25.

If the used mattress is in good condition, it can be taken back free of charge and given to a non-profit organization (NPO). But most of the time, mattresses collected by large chains are sent to companies specializing in mattress recycling, such as Matt Canada and Recyc-Matelas. As an indication, Recyc-Matelas recycles more than 400,000 mattresses each year in Quebec and Ontario.

Small mattress distributors sometimes take back used mattresses and then send them to a municipal bulky waste collection point. Non-specialist mattress retailers rarely take back used mattresses. Montrealers can contact Matt Canada and Recyc-Matelas directly to ensure that their mattress is recycled. The cost to drop off your mattress in one of these centers is about $ 15. If the citizen needs a recovery service, the costs can climb to over a hundred dollars.

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