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Two-Year Anniversary of Mattress Recycling

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City of Cambridge Free Mattress Recycling Program Reduces City’s Trash by 600,000 Pounds and Diverts more than 10,000 Mattresses from Landfill Since Launching Two Years Ago 

Cambridge, MA, April 1, 2021 – Two years ago, the City of Cambridge partnered with UTEC, a nonprofit organization serving proven-risk young adults, to provide free weekly curbside mattress and box spring recycling services.  

Since then, the city has diverted more than 10,000 mattresses from going into the landfill. Instead, these mattresses have been deconstructed and their parts have been recycled. This program has reduced the city’s trash by 600,000 pounds, supporting the city's goals of reducing waste as part of the guidelines in the Zero Waste Master Plan

“I’d like to commend the Public Works staff for spearheading this effort to stay ahead of the curve on waste management trends,” said Cambridge City Manager Louis A. DePasquale. “In addition to using data and evidence to identify ways to reduce waste entering landfills proactively, Public Works is also helping UTEC in their efforts to empower proven-risk youth to be successful.” 

“We’re really proud of the success of this program and its increasing participation,” said Public Works Commissioner Owen O’Riordan. “Not only are we making the necessary changes to stay ahead of MassDEP regulations, but we are also able to support this great program that helps provent-risk young adults in the process.” 

“Mattresses discarded in the trash are notoriously difficult to manage,” said Cambridge Recycling Director Michael Orr. “They are expensive to transport, take up a lot of space in trucks and  landfills, and are difficult to process at waste-to-energy disposal sites. Recycling mattresses is a win-win-win for the solid waste industry.”  

The Mattress Recycling Program is partially funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. This is a free service to Cambridge residents, but advanced scheduling is required.  For more information or to schedule a pickup, visit CambridgeMA.Gov/mattress.  


UTEC Backgrounder: Mattress Recycling is one of three social enterprises that offer paid work experience as part of UTEC’s intensive programming for young adults. UTEC is dedicated to helping young adults ages 17-25 overcome the very real challenges of poverty, gang involvement, unemployment, and cultural barriers that are pervasive in our communities. When these young adults succeed, the community sees the greatest positive impact on public safety, public health and economic development. To learn more about UTEC’s mission and its social enterprises, visit  

Page was posted on 4/1/2021 2:00 PM
Page was last modified on 4/21/2021 4:30 PM
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