Friday, April 15, 2011

Did A Mattress Company Just Dump Their Garbage In My Lane?

A blue chevy half ton truck stopped in front of the dumpster behind my house a few minutes ago.
Two men got out, went to the back of the truck, and unloaded a mattress. Then they put the mattress in the dumpster and got back in the truck. As they drove off, I saw the box spring still in the truck.
My husband and I ran out of the house, camera in one hand, jacket in the other, shoes still untied.
By the time we got into the back lane the truck was down the lane and the box spring was resting in another of the dumpsters. The truck turned left down the next street. I cut through one of the yards hoping to catch the truck if it came back up the street past me. I was wanting to get a picture of the license plate. But alas, the truck turned the other way down the street and was gone.
I returned to the scene of the crime only to find the box spring wrapped in clear plastic. Well, I know what that means. It means the mattress came from a mattress company. Mattress companies offer a service when you purchase a new bed. They offer to take your old mattress away for you when they deliver the new one. And the mattress company uses the plastic wrap from the new mattress to cover the old.
So, this company chose to take the old mattress, wrapped in plastic, and dump it in my back lane. I am not sure that is the correct way of disposing of these old mattresses that the companies remove from the houses. I don't think that is what the owner of the new bed signed on for when they had the company remove the old mattress, and I am not sure that is what the managers and owners of the mattress companies really want to be talked about in this blog.
I also do not think those mattress companies would want the photos of the mattresses displayed in this blog. But what I do know is that those companies would be able to recognize some of the items in my photos. I am sure they would recognize their own bar codes and labelling. I am sure they would recognize their store number and name, and I am sure they would recognize the truck that did the dumping, even if I cannot give a description of the two men, or provide a license plate on the truck.
And I am sure there is something wrong with the dump that I just witnessed.
As far as my dumpster goes, it got emptied yesterday afternoon and today it is full again. It has one big mattress shoved into it and no room for garbage. I know how the week is going to go. Everyone is still going to pile garbage on top of the mattress, the wind is going to pick up, and garbage is going to blow down my lane. As new garbage piles on top of old, the excess will fall to the ground.
Scrappers and scavengers will rummage through the garbage balanced on top of the mattress, and more garbage will fall to the ground. I just cleaned my part of the back lane, and again a few more times this week.
I guess I will be cleaning my lane for another week, once or twice a day, because I do not want garbage blowing around through my neighbourhood.
It looks like garbage dumping season is well under way, with the mattress companies leading the parade.


  1. call the media. This is a story they would be interested in.

  2. Blogging photojournalism at its finest.

  3. I think you should give the Brick warehouse a call and let them know that they are featured in your blog. I have a feeling that mattress will get picked up real quick. Let Gordon Sinclair know, he loves stuff like this. What morons!

  4. The City and the Media have both been notified. Now we wait.

  5. Whoops, just thought of something. What if it wasn't the company but the people who got the new bed? The truck looks a little worn for a delivery truck of a big company. We got our bed delivered by Sleep Country and it was a big shiny white truck with the logo all over it. You could see it for miles.
    They took our old bed away. Great service, by the way. The truck looks familiar actually, I will look for it when I walk the dog.

  6. I am sure a fancy new truck comes to the residence with a new mattress and takes the old away. But I somehow don't think the fance new truck drives to Brady Landfill. The mattress companies likely pay contractors to drive stacks of mattresses to the dump. That may be what I saw.
    As far as a customer getting a new mattress, how likely are they to wrap their old mattress in plastic, load it in a truck, and drive it down my lane. I cannot see them doing the mattress wrapping, keeping the company tags inside the plastic wrap.
    I think I found a part of the puzzle in all those mattresses found in our back lanes.

  7. Thanks for your posted comment to our site - the Centre for Environmental Health Equity. You have a great blog! Do you mind if we share it on our site?

  8. Sleep Country donates the ones in good condition to charity and breaks down the older ones for recycling according to their web page. The Brick does not say what it does with theirs.

  9. Frank Talarico - Chief Distribution Officer - The BrickApril 19, 2011 at 5:52 PM

    I am confident that The Brick had no part in the incident reported on this blog. The Brick offers mattress removal as part of the regular delivery service and are performed by an independent contracted company in a well marked 5 ton truck which could easily have been seen and photographed from the vantage point shown. It is clear that the ½ ton pick up truck seen in the picture is clearly not part of our contractor's fleet which would be used in Brick deliveries. I would hope that what was witnessed was not a retailer at all. I can only speculate that the individuals disposed of their old bed using a bag which was either taken from a new bed picked up by a customer at The Brick, or the bag was taken out of a garbage bin and used for the disposal of this bed. At the Brick, reducing waste sent to the landfill through recycling is very important to us. In fact, we currently recycle most of our cardboard, plastic, wood, and even Styrofoam in many of our distribution centres. Mattresses, appliances and electronics are also recycled in provinces that have established recycling facilities. Unfortunately, mattresses that cannot be donated because of hygiene issues are sent to landfill in Winnipeg. But as facilities open in major urban centres across Canada, The Brick is intent on recycling mattresses (as we currently do in Montreal and Toronto).

  10. Thankyou Mr. Talarico, for adding your comment to this blog entry.
    I hope you understand our concern regarding the excessive illegal dumping of mattresses throughout the back lanes of the North End and West End of this City. We have seen many instances of old mattresses in new plastic bags, sometimes piled 6-7 mattresses high in our back alleys. While patrolling our alleys we have seen upwards of 20-30 mattresses at any given time, as well as other bulky items, construction materials, couches, etc. This is quite an issue for all residents of the North End, as we watch the trucks drive down our lanes, depositing their unwanted materials.
    It may be possible that your company was in no way responsible or involved with the dumping of these items on Friday, however, the one item had markings from your company. You must appreciate our concern when Mattress Company tags are present, still in the wrapping. This issue has been reported to the By-Law office and if you are able to provide any information regarding the tag found, please contact them. Send me an email at and I can provide you the reference number for the incident. Any information on the patterns of these dumpings would be greatly appreciated.
    I would hope that your company was in no way involved with this issue, but I can only go with the evidence I see.
    I will continue to patrol the back alleys, and continue to report my findings to the By-Laws department as well as this blog, as I see them.

  11. So far no email from The Brick Warehouse asking for a reference number for the By-Law department. Oh, and the mattress wrapped in Brick Warehouse wrapping dissapeared from the dumpster on Monday or Tuesday. I find that most interesting of all.

  12. By the time we got into the back lane the truck was down the lane and the box spring was resting in another of the dumpsters

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