Illegally dumped mattresses can be a costly and unnecessary burden on local governments, and without an easy take-back program consumers are left without many options. Local governments spend up to $70 million each year dealing with illegally dumped mattresses—consumers trying to do the right thing by recycling their mattresses are saddled with fees from $20-90. As a result, only a small percentage of mattresses are recycled each year, despite the fact that mattresses are readily recyclable. Mattresses do not compact well, take up space in landfills, and some components have value, including steel springs and polyurethane foam. California's Mattress Recycling Program requires mattress manufacturers to take responsibility for the collection and recycling of used mattresses.
CAW sponsored, SB 254, the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act, established the industry-run market based mattress collection and recycling program and was signed into law in 2014 with the support of manufacturers, recycles, business leaders, and environmental groups. It provides convenient options for consumers to do the right thing by recycling their old mattresses. Consumers can now drop-off their old mattress at no-cost at a participating collection site or recycling facility. Retailers are also required to offer a consumer the option to have their old mattress picked up when delivering a new mattress, at no additional cost. This law supports a statewide effort to reduce the number of mattresses disposed of in landfills, reduce the illegal dumping of mattresses, and increase mattress recycling. The recycling plan includes a 75% diversion goal by 2020.
There is still a net cost to collect and recycle mattresses. However, 80-90% of mattress parts are recyclable if separated, generating new employment opportunities. By using a one time recycling fee collected at the point of sale, the recycling program is able to use funds in a more cost-efficient way that ensures mattresses get recycled and consumers are provided with options when it comes time to dispose of old mattresses.
Bye Bye Mattress is the mattress recycling program in California and is operated by the nonprofit, Mattress Recycling Council. The program uses a recycling fee collected on each mattress and box spring sold to make recycling easier and more convenient for consumers. Whenever cities pick up abandoned mattresses, a retailer takes back an old mattress with your new purchase, or when you drop a mattress off for recycling, the Bye Bye Mattress program ensures that those mattresses are recycled.
Now, instead of old mattresses going to landfills they will be recycled into new and useful products!
If a retailer refuses to pick up an old mattress when delivering your new mattress, please let us know. Contact Teresa Bui: firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay Informed – Sign up for CalRecycle’s Mattress Product Stewardship Listserv
For more information, please contact:
Mattress Recycling Council