Extreme Temperature Diary- July 13, 2018/ Hot Topic: Green Disposal of Large Items

Friday July 13th… Dear Diary. The main purpose of this ongoing post will be to track United States extreme or record temperatures related to climate change. Any reports I see of ETs will be listed below the main topic of the day. I’ll refer to extreme or record temperatures as ETs (not extraterrestrials)😊. Here is today’s main climate change post related hot topic:

Green Disposal of Large Items

Happy Friday the 13th everyone. I was very much tempted to write a long diatribe today about how unlucky the world is to have not gotten ahead of the climate crisis by the turn of the century and more so after the first eighteen years of the 21st century have come and gone, but we all know this. Instead let me start to convey something positive that some can do to help the fight against further global warming.  We should all be recycling day to day garbage items, but what is the best way to dispose of large household items when it comes time to do so? We definitely don’t want old furniture and large pieces of junk to end up in landfills.

My first guest writer to guonclimate.com, Danielle Martin, has some handy tips on how to dispose of one large item, mattresses. For future posts I’d like others to be guests conveying positive steps to make all of our lives greener. Without further ado here are Danielle’s tips for handling old mattresses: 

Four Options for Keeping Your Old Mattress Out of The Landfill

Each year, more than 40 million mattresses with box springs are disposed of in the U.S. Often, landfills lose money on mattresses because they don’t compact well, taking up space and sometimes damaging equipment.

But there’s another way. Mattress disposal alternatives include charitable donations, refurbishing, recycling, and reusing the components for scrap and household projects.

If just 4.2 million of those mattresses were collected and recycled instead of being thrown away, they could create roughly 1,000 jobs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 130,000 and 190,000 metric tons.

Option 1: Charitable Donation

If you want to upgrade to a greener mattress, consider donating your old one.Donated mattresses should be in excellent condition.

Donating a used bed in poor condition can be a burden — as whoever you donate it to will have to dispose of it if it’s unusable. Make sure it’s free of stains, odors, rips, and bed bugs.

You can offer it to family and friends first to make donation easy. Otherwise, check with your local Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, shelters, and other organizations. Of course, be sure to call first, as not all charities accept used mattresses, or they may have particular requirements for how you can donate.

Option 2: Refurbishing

Although rare, there are mattress refurbishers who will update your old mattress. When a mattress is refurbished, it’s sanitized to kill dust mites, bugs, and germs. Then the mattress is taken apart to reuse components and recycle what can’t be reused.

Mattress refurbishers will reuse springs, fixing them if needed. However, they will not reuse cotton or other fiber. Refurbishing is a good option if you’d like to update your mattress, or simply find a useful way to reuse your mattress components.

Option 3: Reusing Components

Mattress components can be reused even if you’re not sending it to a refurbisher. Mattresses are typically made of components including steel springs, foam, wood, fiber, and cotton. These components can be valuable when broken down and reused.

Steel springs are the most valuable component of mattresses. They can be sold for scrap, or used in craft projects. Foam, fabric, and fiber can be used for pet bedding and other soft items around the home, such as pillows. Wood can be broken down and used for planters or mulch.

Option 4: Recycling

Up to 95 percent of mattress components can be recycled. Box springs and steel inner springs can be recycled and made into new steel. Mattress foam can be ground up, mixed, and turned into carpet padding or cushions. Fabrics and fibers can be recycled into industrial filters or padding. Wood from box spring foundations can be chipped for use as animal bedding, mulch, or fuel.


In heat related news today this fine article by weather historian Chris Burt is a must read:

Today we have special kudos for Dr. Michael Mann:

We have ZERO years left to solve climate change. Emissions have to come down steadily in the years ahead to avoid committing to catastrophic climate change impacts.

My home city, Atlanta, has had a “lucky” streak…given that it is Friday the 13th…of staying away from truly stifling heat considering that in the last two summer seasons maxes have not gotten above 94F. Yesterday was the most brutal of this season so far with a humid min of 77F and a max of 94F. Yes some areas of the world are warming slower than others, and I am fortunate enough to live in a city this hasn’t suffered from climate change too much yet. Here are yesterday’s national maxes:

Expect more of the same with slightly lower temps in the Southeast due to an increase in showers and storms on Saturday: 

Watch for typical mid summer dangerous heat in the mid-Mississippi Valley:

As usual I will add more relevant items to this post should they cross my radar later today.

Today I am seeing increased chances for another significant heat wave in the West and a big break in typical summer heat east of the Rockies on into early August:

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The Climate Guy

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