Overland Park adding mattress recycling to bulky item pickup program

Overland Park will begin collecting mattresses for recycling as part of upcoming bulky item collections. Photo credit Romana Klee. Used under a Creative Commons license.

Overland Park is adding mattress collection to the city’s recycling program. Mattress collection will take place in conjunction with the bulky item collection.

The city is partnering with two local nonprofit organizations, Sleepyhead Beds and Avenue of Life, to assist in mattress collection. Bedding in good condition will be handled by Sleepyhead Beds to be sanitized and reused. Bedding not appropriate for use by Sleepyhead will be broken down and the materials recycled by Avenue of Life.

“In an effort to reduce the volume of collected materials going to the landfill, we have worked with two local nonprofit entities to put together this first-time mattress collection,” said Jim Twigg, environmental programs coordinator for Overland Park.

Unwanted bedding materials such as mattresses and box springs are commonly collected and landfilled as part of the city’s annual bulky item collection, according to Overland Park community development committee records. Bedding can be difficult to collect because of size and is “certainly problematic” because it becomes a tangle hazard in landfilling operations.

City staff estimated that at least 680 households this year in the bulky item collection areas may have bedding they wish to have picked up.

Residents in the bulky item program areas will be offered the opportunity through program publicity materials to have their bedding reused or recycled at no charge. Bedding should be placed out for collection the Friday before their scheduled bulky item collection day.

The nonprofits will conduct collections and provide receipts the day before the scheduled bulky item collection day. Bedding not picked up by the nonprofits will be collected by the bulky item collection contractor.

Residents with bedding to donate will be asked to fill out an online form or make a phone call to be placed on the bedding collection list, city staff wrote.

The two nonprofits will bill Overland Park at the rate of $350 per box truckload, with about 45 pieces per truckload. City staff estimated that collecting bedding for reasons other than disposal “will cost as much as $16,000.” That cost could be accommodated by the city’s existing program budget.

Twigg said the program will be reviewed after collections this year before city staff decide to continue mattress pickups in the future.