Watertown residents have a new option for recycling mattresses and box springs. The City is collaborating with a company that will, for a fee, pick up these items from the curbside once a month and recycle them. The next collection date is Oct. 11.
New state regulations that change the rules for disposing of mattresses and box springs take effect on Nov. 1, but the City of Watertown has not yet announced the official transition date. Until then, trash/recycling contractor Republic will continue to collect the mattresses and box springs for incineration.
The Department of Public Works sent out the following announcement about the mattress and box spring recycling option:
The City of Watertown is collaborating with HandUp, a social-impact business, to offer City residents a convenient and cost-effective way to recycle unwanted mattresses and box springs responsibly.
Currently, Watertown residents can opt-in to directly contact HandUp to make an appointment for the curbside pickup of a mattress and/or box spring. The best way to do this is by going directly to their website or by calling 774-271-8744. Please note curbside pickup will occur one time per month. The charge for a mattress or box spring is $46 each.
HandUp is based in New Bedford, MA, and 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.
Erik Dyson, Co-Founder and CEO of HandUp, states, “We are pleased to partner with the City of Watertown to offer its residents a convenient, cost-effective, and environmentally responsible way to dispose of their unwanted mattresses. As a company, we are committed to making a positive environmental impact and returning a portion of our proceeds back to the local community by supporting non-profit organizations that provide services to our immigrant and refugee neighbors.”
Watertown’s Recycling Coordinator, Anya Pforzheimer, says, “The City of Watertown is proactively launching this curbside mattress recycling program in advance of the State of Massachusetts’s mattress ban, which takes effect on Nov. 1, 2022. Similar waste bans are also going into effect for textiles and compostable materials, both of which Watertown has current recycling options already in place. This statewide regulatory change will require all unwanted mattresses to be recycled and banned from landfill or incineration. We are pleased to partner with HandUp to offer this service to our residents.”
Pforzheimer continued: “Massachusetts’s Department of Environmental Protection notes that more than 75 percent of the materials in a mattress can be taken apart and recycled, which is exactly what HandUp is doing. Watertown recently ratified the Massachusetts 2030 Solid Waste Master Plan and our own Climate and Energy Plan with the shared goals of reducing municipal solid waste. Transitioning to recycling mattresses is one of the many new and upcoming changes that will focus on diverting usable and recyclable materials away from disposal.”