Advocate Staff Report
There have been many articles circulating in various news outlets about the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) announcement that as of Tuesday, November 1, 2022, mattresses and box springs will be prohibited by state law from being thrown away in the waste stream.
What does this mean for Malden residents? For Malden to comply with the new state law, the process of using Malden’s Bulk Item policy for disposing of mattresses and box springs will no longer be permitted; instead, residents will be required to recycle them.
To that end, the City of Malden has partnered with authorized mattress recycler HandUp to allow residents to easily recycle these items at the curb. As of November 1, Malden residents may directly contact HandUp to make an appointment for the curbside pickup of a mattress and/or box spring by going directly to the websitewww.handupmattress.com/curbside-pickup or by calling 774-271-8744. Please note: Curbside pickup will occur one time per week in Malden on Wednesdays, but residents must make an appointment with HandUp. The charge for each unit in a bedding set will be $55. For example, a king-sized mattress which usually comes with two twin box springs would require three separate fees for disposal of the whole set.
Residents should also be aware that if you are purchasing another mattress from a retail store, you should always ask what they charge for removal as it might be less expensive than Malden’s new curbside service.
Please also note that once you have booked an appointment with HandUp, there are rules about how to set out the mattress, what condition it must be in for it to be recycled and other important information. This information can be found at cityofmalden.org/mattress.
About the state-wide initiative
MassDEP points out that mattresses are made up almost entirely of recyclable materials. Once disassembled, more than 75 percent of mattress components can be recycled. At the same time, discarded mattresses and box springs can be notoriously difficult to manage. They are expensive to transport, take up a lot of space in landfills, are hard to compact and can get caught in incinerator processing equipment. All these factors result in higher disposal costs, so recycling or reuse only makes sense. For more information about the statewide mattress recycling requirement, visit the MassDEP website: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/mattress-recycling.
About Malden’s recycling vendor, HandUp
HandUp is a social impact business in New Bedford, Mass., that recycles and upcycles mattresses in an environmentally sustainable way. The mattresses collected by HandUp are separated into their components – foam, cloth, wood and metal – and recycled. For more information about HandUp, call 774-271-8744, visit handupmattress.com or email email@example.com.