Unwanted mattresses and box springs continue to litter roadsides and vacant lots throughout California.

It turns out, though, you and your tenants can help put this problem to bed. And it doesn’t have to include a costly trip to the landfill.

Photo provided by Mattress Recycling Council

Education is key. Before tenants move out, let them know about cheap, legal and environmentally responsible alternatives to unlawfully disposing of bedroom furniture.

The nonprofit Mattress Recycling Council offers some ideas.

  • Curbside Bulky Item Collection Programs: Tenants and landlords can contact their local government to learn how curbside pickup of a bulky item works in their area. Free pickup may be available. An appointment may be required. The Mattress Recycling Council has created a searchable directory on ByeByeMattress.com that notes solid waste collectors that participate in recycling.
  • Drop off the mattress and box spring: Find a participating Bye Bye Mattress location or upcoming collection event. Landlords and tenants can search for them on ByeByeMattress.com.
  • Retailer Take Back: When a tenant buys a new mattress and has it delivered, the retailer must offer to take back the old one at no additional cost. Let your tenants know. Retailers can choose to recycle the mattresses they’ve collected from their customers with the Mattress Recycling Council’s program. Consumers are encouraged to ask about take back during their purchase process, and retailers have up to 30 days to pick up the old item.

Of course, no matter how much educating a landlord does, some tenants are bound to leave their mattress and box spring behind, whether in their old bedroom, leaning against a Dumpster or dropped elsewhere on the property. Luckily, landlords are eligible for help through the Bye Bye Mattress program, too. Visit the website for free drop-off locations or contact your solid waste hauler and inquiry about bulky-item pickup options.