The City of Grand Junction has made it clear you cannot throw out mattresses or box springs during the annual Spring Clean-Up Program. Here's why.

There are a handful of items that won't be picked up during the clean-up, the most obvious being appliances containing Freon. What's the issue with mattresses?

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The mattress on my mind.

At this very moment, I'm in the process of buying a new mattress and box spring. As you are aware, those things aren't cheap.

While shopping for a new mattress, an interesting question popped into my little brain. Why aren't old mattresses included in the Spring Clean-up Program?

The answer, or answers, to the question.

Well, for starters, they aren't included in the program because the City of Grand Junction says so. As a matter of fact, it's bullet point #6 on the city's list of things you can't do during the Spring Clean-Up.

But why? Well, that's easily answered. According to, the Mesa County Landfill takes in at least 45 mattresses per day. If you stop and think about it, mattresses take up a ton of space. Even worse, they don't squish down. In actuality, the very nature of a mattress is to avoid squishing. As a result, they take up a tremendous amount of space in the landfill. In addition, according to, the wires in the boxsprings and mattresses can get tangled up in landfill equipment.

How to dispose of a mattress right now.

I just spoke with a rep at the Mesa County Landfill regarding the disposal of mattresses. Right here, right now, you can drop them off at the landfill. They are, however, an itemized expense. The fee to dispose of a mattress is $10 per item. When you pull up on the scale, notify the attendant that your materials include mattresses.

Coming soon to a landfill near you.

Later this summer, Mesa County solid waste will be able to recycle old mattresses. Our local landfill will have a designated section just for mattresses. From there, it appears they will be shipped to Denver for recycling.

Mattress recycling in action.

I've always had an effective method of recycling mattresses. Put simply, I've always owned "used' mattresses. Seriously, I'm 51 years old, and the mattresses I'm shopping for right now will be the first new mattresses I've ever owned.

That's my method. The landfills have their own technique. Check it out.

 Well, there we go.

Like my dad used to say, "Well, it looks like we learned something new today." I wasn't familiar with the existing, and for that matter, upcoming policies at the Mesa County Landfill. Then again, I don't know that I've ever disposed of a mattress. Now we know.

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