Because of mattress bug hysteria, throwing out a mattress goes to value me cash (opinion)


STATEN ISLAND, NY – Are bed bugs really that big of a problem?

I mean outside of hotels and hostels and the like where you’re never sure who was there before you and you don’t know how well the places are cleaned. Some offices too I guess.

That’s the most likely way to bring bed bugs into your own home. Or maybe your child is bringing home some of the nasty things from college, where we know cleanliness standards can be a bit flexible.

I’m thinking about it because I have two mattresses to throw away. As some of our children are now out of the house we no longer need a bunk bed. We have a better use for the space.

So that means we have to throw away two mattresses.

This used to be a simple process, like throwing out trash. You put the mattresses on the curb and the nice people from the plumbing department took them away.

No longer. Not since bed bug mania swept the city a decade ago. Now by law we have to wrap our mattresses and box springs in sealed plastic bags before putting them outside.

That means we have to go to the hardware store and buy the bags. The ones we bought recently cost $14. So I literally throw the money away.

It’s another one of those green initiatives that just doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

I understand that people want to make sure the mattresses they use are bed bug free. And if you live in an apartment building, you want to make sure that animals aren’t moving into yours from someone else’s apartment.

But what is the danger if I throw away the mattress? All bed bugs would be outside. And it’s not like the mattress goes everywhere people live. It is shredded in a sanitation truck and then taken to a landfill.

God bless the bed bug that survives this. Why do I care if a landfill has bed bugs? That’s probably one of the more benign environmental hazards you’ll find in a landfill, which has to do with all the rats, rotting garbage, and chemical toxins.

Also, my mattresses don’t have bed bugs. We checked. And nobody had been bitten. And while I know not everyone has the same reaction to bed bug bites, sooner or later you will know if you have an infestation.

But the regulation treats all mattresses the same. I have to spend the money and then go to the trouble of wrapping and sealing the mattresses. And all without any significant effect.

Some will say it’s a small thing to pack a mattress and waste a little money. Stop being such a nagger.

Sure, for example, that recycling is such a small thing, even though so much of what we “recycle” actually just goes to landfill or is incinerated.

Or how the plastic bag ban is a small price to pay to save the planet while burying us in polluting reusable bags.

Oh, and by the way, there are also rules for what color mattress bags you can use. The city dictates that the mattress bag cannot be red or orange.

And no, the city does not provide free mattress disposal covers. So the city itself will only go so far to prevent the spread of bed bugs.

No wonder people just dump their mattresses illegally. Not that I condone such a thing.

But I understand.