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How to Recycle a Cotton Futon Mattress

Bulky futon mattresses take up serious landfill space, but recycling them or donating them can be tricky. You never know if a mattress hides some bedbugs. Before you toss the futon on the curb, assess your options. You've got a lot of ways to reuse or recycle a futon mattress that's in good shape, and the cotton and foam stuffed inside even the lumpiest futon mattress is fully recyclable.

Cotton futons contain highly recyclable material.
  1. Check with the manufacturer from whom you want to buy a new bed or sofa to see if it takes back futon mattresses for free when you buy a new product. Also check with your futon manufacturer as to whether it has a take-back program.

  2. Offload a good futon to local students, especially if you live in a university town. Create a flyer with a picture and your phone number or email, then sell or give it away to an interested student.

  3. Donate the futon to local charities that may need furniture. Contact youth groups, church or other religious groups, senior centers or homeless groups about the donation.

  4. Contact local thrift stores and ask if they accept futons for donation, then arrange to drop off the futon if you find a match.

  5. Search the website Earth911 for mattress recyclers near you by typing in "Mattress" and your zip code (see Resources). Call matching recyclers to determine whether they accept cotton futon mattresses, then drop off the mattress if they do.