How can we recycle a used futon? (in Toronto)
July 17, 2007 11:56 AM   Subscribe

How to recycle a futon mattress (in Toronto)? It's had daily use for 15 years so it's at the end of it's ability to be a comfortable bed or sofa. Used stuffing can't legally be used in stuffed products for sale. But surely it's good for something (anyone need a bunch of dog beds?). It's 8 inches thick and IIRC there's three layers of cotton alternating with two layers of foam. It's a really big thing to be sending to the landfill.

We don't really have the space to have it hanging around (The new sofa's already here. The two of them take up almost the entire living room. We have no storage space.) so solutions that use it up bit-by-bit probably won't work for us (but might be helpful for others reading the thread).
posted by winston to Home & Garden (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I believe most of the junk disposal services will take away old mattresses. You might want to Google "junk removal toronto" and try calling a few of the first hits.
posted by purephase at 12:00 PM on July 17, 2007

Do a search for your local Freecycle group. Just because you don't think it's a comfortable bed or sofa, doesn't mean that somebody else won't happily take it off your hands. It's far better for it to be re-used by somebody rather than sending it to the landfill.

If you Freecycle it, you can get rid of it without paying a cent. Junk disposal companies will charge you for their services.
posted by gwenzel at 12:03 PM on July 17, 2007

You could always try to disassemble it and compost the cotton. You'd still have to chuck the foam, but it's less to send to Michigan or wherever our landfill goes these days.
posted by GuyZero at 12:04 PM on July 17, 2007

it (or ripped apart to reuse the filling) could be used by a band/home recording enthusiast for sound insulation/isolation purposes. you might advertise it that way on craigslist/freecycle.
posted by noloveforned at 12:29 PM on July 17, 2007

YMMV, but I've had *way* better success using Craigslist's Free section versus my local Freecycles. You may want to try both.
posted by the dief at 12:34 PM on July 17, 2007

I believe most of the junk disposal services will take away old mattresses.

Yes, I could also easily bring it to the dump myself but I'd like to avoid sending it to landfill.
posted by winston at 12:42 PM on July 17, 2007

I have a friend (not in Toronto) looking for this exact thing to put below his newly built home climbing wall.

Perhaps you could find some local climbers with a similar need?
posted by Sheppagus at 1:23 PM on July 17, 2007

There is no need to drive it to the dump, the city will take it.

I kind of doubt there will be any substantial demand for such an item - 15 years of use and all that - the sound insulation idea is pretty good though.

Now the futon frame.. If I had space, I'd collect a few of those. Although even that isn't too attractive, if it has been mistreated at all. It only takes a bit of looking to find perfect futon frames in the garbage - one made some very nice shelves for my storage area and I've passed by many others since (I don't really need any more shelves at the moment :P).
posted by Chuckles at 1:25 PM on July 17, 2007

Old futons do make excellent dog beds -- my dog is sitting on one my sister made (she made two for her dog too). I don't think it was really hard to cut it apart -- it was probably more work to make the cover.

I am sorry I don't know how you could find dog owners or people who sew to make use of it -- maybe craig's list? Maybe through the Humane Society?

I hope you do find someone who can put it to good use -- it's nice of you to try.
posted by nnk at 1:46 PM on July 17, 2007

It's not too big to throw out. You've used it for 15 years. Imagine how much plastic & paper you've thrown out in 15 years. You can trash the futon with a smile.
posted by chairface at 2:25 PM on July 17, 2007

I wish I were in Toronto -- I need more dog beds. :) My dogs have three stuffed with both the foam and cotton from my old futon. Alas.
posted by iguanapolitico at 5:16 PM on July 17, 2007

This is a group much like freecycle, except they are more active in Toronto than the local freecycle group. I've had a lot of luck disposing of things through them:
posted by Melsky at 6:38 PM on July 17, 2007

Often futon stores will take the old ones back, as they have lots of this stuff to get rid of, and also want you to look favorably upon them for your next bed purchase. Call around!
posted by Aquaman at 7:40 PM on July 17, 2007

Perhaps a local shelter would like to take it and whack it into dog or cat sized hunks for temporary beds? They wouldn't be too hung up on fancy covers, and would know better than to give one to an animal that chews things, which would be bad for its tummy. My kid fosters kittens, and would glady wrap a small hunk in an old towel for the time it takes to get a litter a little older, and they'd be too small to chew it. It would be worth offering.
posted by unrepentanthippie at 6:25 AM on July 18, 2007

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