Drop Off a Mattress for Recycling

City of Charleston Mattress Recycling

City of Charleston residents can recycle their unwanted mattresses and boxsprings for free at upcoming drop-off events.


Friday, September 6, 2024, 1:00-3:00pm
Saturday, September 7, 2024, 9:00am-12:00pm
James Island Recreational Complex
1088 Quail Drive
Charleston, SC 29412
(look for the white trailer in the parking lot)
Additional events will be held in October and November.
Limit (5) five pieces per drop-off vehicle. No commercial/retail store disposal.

ID check for proof of City of Charleston residency required (ie. Driver's License). College students can present a Student ID and utility bill from their Charleston residence.

Mattresses and boxsprings must be DRY with NO BED BUGS or history of bed bugs.

Waterbeds and air mattresses are not accepted.

Questions? Call or text 843-557-5474


1. What types of mattresses can be accepted for recycling?

Any size mattresses are allowed.  

  • Mattresses: which are defined to include any sleep surface covered with ticking or fabric that contains resilient material, such as steel innersprings, foam, fiber, or other filling or upholstery materials, used alone or in combination, regardless of size or shape.  (This includes all types of memory foam mattresses, with or without cooling gels, including the Purple Mattress.)
  • Boxsprings (also commonly called Foundations): which are defined to include a ticking- or fabric-covered structure used to support a mattress or sleep surface, and may be comprised of a frame, foam, wood, springs or other structure, or other materials, used alone or in combination, and includes both adjustable bases or foundations and stationary foundations.
2. Are there types of mattresses not accepted and what should I do with those?

Mattresses and boxsprings must be DRY with NO BED BUGS.  Waterbeds, air mattresses and futons ARE NOT ACCEPTED as these cannot be recycled through this process. Mattresses not accepted for recycling should be disposed of curbside on a resident’s assigned trash collection day.

3. May I leave my mattress curbside on my weekly trash collection day?

You may still leave your mattress curbside on your scheduled trash collection day, but it cannot be recycled this way. If you would like to see your mattress recycled, please schedule a pick up at BedShred.com or visit a drop off event.

4. How do I recycle my old mattress or box spring?

PICK UP: To schedule a pick up for your mattresses, visit www.BedShred.com (fees apply).  Since this is a private program not managed by the City, this organization also offers their services beyond City limits.

5. Where does my old mattress go and what happens to it?

The old mattresses and/or boxsprings are dismantled into separate components (steel, foam and wood) and used to make new products. Old mattresses or their components are never refurbished or reused in bedding again. Mattresses will be transported to a special facility in South Carolina called Nine Lives Recycling to undergo the unique mattress processing method.  

  1. FOAM can be repurposed into carpet padding and moving pads.
  2. STEEL can be smelted down and made into new items like bicycle spokes; and
  3. WOOD (from boxsprings) can be used to construct new things like bookcases and shelves or for craft projects;

When all is said and done, the process leaves only 10% of each mattress being discarded as compacted waste, keeping 90% of the mattresses out of the landfill!

View pictures and more information about the mattress recycling process.

6. Why should I recycle my old mattress or box spring?

Mattresses are bulky and springy so they don’t compact well and take up lots of valuable space in landfills. Save precious landfill space and give your mattress parts a new life by recycling your old mattresses and box springs.  

Mattresses are a huge problem for landfills and we can repurpose these materials instead of adding unnecessary waste to the environment.  Many national retailers are only offering one-sided mattresses and directing consumers to replace them more often. Landfills are also seeing an influx of returned mattresses from online retailers. The compaction rate of a discarded mattress is 400% less than regular garbage. A cubic yard of compacted garbage typically weighs between 1,500 and 1,800 lbs. A cubic yard of compacted mattresses weighs about 250 lbs. and can leave voids in the ground.

City of Charleston Mattress Recycling