How to Dispose of Your Old Pillows in Australia

How to Dispose of Your Old Pillows in Australia

How to Dispose of Your Old Pillows in Australia

Everyone has realized at some point that their dirty old pillow needs to go. But what’s the easiest way to get rid of it? Tossing your pillow into the trash might save you time, but it will ultimately rot away in a landfill.

The problem is that pillows contain toxic and pollutant materials. One of the biggest offenders is ethylene glycol, a central nervous system depressant. These pollutants cause significant problems for the environment.

Luckily, several organizations accept used pillows and pillow cases. They do this to reduce pollution and help keep our environment clean. Find a solution to your pillow problem right here in the land down under! 

How Long Do Pillows Last?

Current recommendations indicate that pillows generally last up to two years before you have to find a replacement. After two years, they need to go!

Of course, your favourite pillow might last longer than you expected. Linen, silk, and hemp products are notably efficient at staying new and intact. Linen pillows are some of the most durable and longest-lasting. 

How long a pillow lasts depends on its material, when you paid for it, how often you use it, and how often you clean it. If you sleep on it every night, you can expect it to degrade faster.

How Do Pillows Get Dirty?

When you put your face down in your pillowcase, you rub all kinds of greases and oils into the fabric. This deterioration will eventually cause it to stain an off-white, unhealthy colour. The longer you wait to clean it, the more allergens it will contain.

Over time, these stains can even become permanent. As you sleep, it is not uncommon for you to drool. Saliva soaks the pillow fabric, making your morning breath hard to escape.

Dirty pillows are unsanitary and horrible for your skin. Sleeping on a dirty pillow is a sure way to wake up one day with itchy, swollen eyes. Dirty pillows can even shelter pests like bed bugs, spiders, and dust mites.

Can I Recycle My Pillow?

Pillows themselves are not usually recyclable. The reason is that pillows are made from various synthetic materials which can not break down in the recycling process, like polyester fabrics. Note that you can recycle feather pillows.

You should not place pillows, sheets, or pillowcases in the yellow recycling bin. They would be better off thrown into the trash or reused. You can also simply rewash your pillows and mask their wear and tear with scented sprays and fabric softeners.

Fortunately, there are numerous other ways you can reuse and repurpose old pillows. Some of these methods include:

  • Shredding the pillows for compost.  
  • Make a pad for your house pets.  
  • Use smaller patches of cloth or linen for quilts.
  • Using the clean cotton inside the pillows.

You can also reuse pillow cases as cloths and rags for cleaning, assuming they aren’t completely ruined and you wash them regularly. Depending on the material, they might also be better suited for window cleaning.

Textile Recycling

If you are concerned about your products wasting away in some landfill and contributing to environmental decay, the best way to dispose of your old pillows would be to employ a recycling service.

Numerous businesses recycle textiles. Some of these businesses even use these older textiles in their newer products. Businesses like this will gladly accept your old pillows and sheets.

Upparel is another popular example of an Australian business that reuses textiles in its products. The business boasts upcycling over 1.7 million items and diverting 607,023 kilograms of textiles thus far.

Your local council may even offer textile recycling services at the nearest waste management centre. These initiatives are spreading throughout Australia, with success in areas such as Bathurst.

Can I Throw Out My Pillow in the Trash?

If you have no other means of reusing or donating your pillows, you should toss them in the rubbish bin. Throwing away your pillow is certainly not the most eco-friendly solution, but it is better than clogging it up in the recycling bin.

When pillows end up in a landfill, they decay among the other expendables and release greenhouse gasses like methane and carbon dioxide. The buildup of greenhouse gasses causes the ozone layer to deplete and drastic changes in the local climate.

The effect these toxins have on the environment is incredibly destructive. Between 2018 and 2019, 27% of the waste in Australia was sent to landfills. This statistic amounts to over 10.5 million tonnes of waste in a year. 

All things said and done you should refrain from adding any more waste to landfills if you do not have to. Doing so will make your life easier and easier for the people around you.

Where Can I Donate Pillows?

Numerous charities accept old pillows, blankets, and sheets. Of course, these sheets must be clean, sanitized, and free of grease and stains. Charities will not accept textile items that are unsanitary or considerably decayed. Try your local Lifeline or Salvation Army.

Likewise, certain animal shelters, such as the RSPCA, may accept old pillows if you wash and disinfect them. Some shelters are eager to use your old pillows as bedding for animals, while others might turn you away for health reasons.

What Is the Best Way to Dispose of Old Pillows?

The cleanest and safest way to dispose of old pillows in Australia is by cleaning them and donating them to a shelter, charity, or community service. If you are unable to do this, your best option is to throw them in the rubbish bin.

For the sake of a healthier environment, please toss old pillows away sparingly. Textile recycling seems to be a promising new service that will help you dispose of your old goods.

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