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Up-cyclers keep hundreds of mattresses out of Nacogdoches landfill


The Nacogdoches City Council will consider an agreement Tuesday to recycle all of its mattresses that enter its landfill. The mattresses would go to a Whitehouse, Texas, couple who makes art out of the coils and sells it at Canton Trade Days in Canton, Texas.

Susan Hale is a furniture up-cycler. She is selling wreaths, Christmas trees, crosses and other home decor items out these reclaimed coils.

“We have a full bedspring shop of all kinds of décor and it’s very popular. We can sell everything that we make every month. So it keeps us very busy,” Hale said, who founded Gubba & Dangy Vintage Finds with her husband, Paul, two years ago.

Mattresses are the bane of landfills. They take up a lot of space. Worst of all, coils get caught up in landfill equipment causing thousands of dollars of repairs. Cary Walker is Nacogdoches’ public works manager. He says this pilot program that started four months ago is working.

“We’ve seen a huge difference. Our operators have made comments about how much easier it is to work the garbage. We’re getting better compaction rates. Since July 16, when we started our pilot program, we’ve diverted 783 mattresses out of the landfill,” Walker said.

Hale can now grow her business with a steady stream of mattresses from the landfill. Working with the outcast beds takes a systematic approach, according to Hale.

“Once we do the stripping, cutting and shaping them, it is a process and it takes time and it’s a lot of work, but we enjoy doing it,” Hale said.

A six-foot tall coil Christmas tree will be on display at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler during its festival of trees beginning Dec. 1.