THE BLOG
12/18/2014 08:35 pm ET Updated Feb 17, 2015

Taking the Green Approach: Four Ways to Reuse Your Old Mattress

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Once you've purchased a new mattress, you probably don't want to think about your old bed. However, most people don't realize where their mattresses go after they get rid of them.

Mattresses are known to be highly recyclable, but unfortunately many simply throw away their used mattress once they've bought a new one. A mattress takes up precious landfill space and aren't easily compacted like typical trash.

So instead of letting your mattress rot away in a trash pile, look to one of these alternatives to let your mattress shine brightly in a new life.

Prepare Your Mattress For Its Next Life

Before you take any steps to get rid of your mattress, you should take time to clean it first. Start out by vacuuming the top of your bed with your upholstery attachment. This will get rid of most of the dust and dust mites and freshen up your mattress.

According to Lifehacker, you can also sift baking soda over mattress to freshen it up for whoever will get your mattress next. A few drops of essential oil in the baking soda will give your bed a fresh, new scent that will make sleeping on it even more pleasant.

If you have any stains on your bed, use a common DIY combination of two parts hydrogen peroxide to one part of dish soap. You can even add some baking soda into the mix for more deodorizing power. When cleaning your mattress, make sure to blot the stain using a damp white cloth and cold water.

Protein stains, the most common type of stain when dealing with mattresses, become set into fabric when warm water is applied to them. Using a white cloth minimizes color transfer into your mattress. Mattresses, especially memory foam, and water don't get along well, so make sure to be sparing with the amount of stain remover that you apply to your bed.

Donate It

Once you've thoroughly cleaned your mattress, you need to decide what you're going to do with it. Donating your mattress to someone in need is a great place to start to avoid your bed laying waste in garbage.

Use Facebook, or any social network, to see if anyone you know is in need of a mattress. Post on your local Craigslist to see if anyone is in need of a new mattress. The Freecycle organization is another great place to find people potentially looking for a bed.

Donation centers like Goodwill or the Red Cross can be troublesome when it comes to donating mattresses. Some states allow mattresses to be donated to larger organizations while others don't. Check your local regulations to see if and where you can donate your mattress.

Recycle It

If donating your mattress is not an option in your area, then recycling your mattress is another way to go. This is different than just throwing out your mattress.

This involves people disassembling your bed and recycling what they can from it. You might have to pay a small fee for removal or processing, but you will be able to sleep easy knowing that your mattress isn't clogging a landfill.

Call your local recycling facility and ask them about mattress recycling. Companies can also do this, but they might not operate in your area. Look for local companies that can process mattresses. Make sure to find out what they're going to do with your bed because they might just trash the entire mattress.

If your recycling center doesn't accept whole mattresses, then it is possible to break down a mattress into its smaller, recyclable parts. This is not for the faint of heart because beds aren't meant to come apart easily.

Repurpose Your Mattress Into Something Fun

Another idea for your old mattress would be to repurpose it. This option is great if you can't recycle or donate your mattress where you live. The easiest way to repurpose a mattress is to use it as a mattress somewhere else. But that's boring.

Instead, you can use your old mattress as an art project. Taking components from your bed, like the cover, springs or whatever else is inside it, you can make an abstract piece of art that will surely show how creative you are.

Traditional mattresses that have springs can be used to create fun circular light fixtures or an interesting place to display notes and pictures.

Whatever you do with your old mattress, make sure it is put to good use. With the staggering amount of garbage we produce, something as large as a mattress shouldn't be wasted. Whether you donate, recycle, or get crafty with your bed, you know that you're doing something good for the planet.

What did you do with your old mattress when you got a new one? What's the most cost efficient approach to recycling a mattress in your opinion? Share your experiences below.

Firas Kittaneh is the CEO of Amerisleep, an eco-friendly luxury mattress company. Firas writes more posts on the Amerisleep blog about getting better sleep, healthy living and being eco-friendly. Follow him on Twitter.