When the nonprofit St. Vincent de Paul Society of Lane County first opened their doors in Oakland, CA, they became the first commercial recycling business in the world. Mattress recycling was a win-win for both cities and for their citizens. St. Vincent de Paul Society’s recycling facility provided jobs and took pressure off the city, which otherwise would have to pay for mattress pickup and disposal.
The head of St. Vincent, Terry McDonald, brought the idea of opening a mattress facility to Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and just like that the state’s first mattress recycler was born. The facility, dubbed Park City Green, opened last month and is expected to provide around 20 jobs while lending a hand with the 88,050 mattresses Connecticut collects each year.
Commissioner of environment and energy, Daniel Etsy, is optimistic that Park City Green’s achievements will influence legislators next year to revive a failed mattress recycling bill.
Here on the west coast, the California Senate and Assembly just approved a bill that would hold manufacturers accountable for end of life mattress recycling.
California’s SB1118 passed through the Senate and is currently in the Assembly, heading to fiscal committee. The author of the bill, Senator Loni Hancock, wanted to emphasize that illegally dumped mattresses are both a health risk and financial burden:
The risk these mattresses pose is not limited to the health of our citizens. Cash-strapped cities are forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars collecting and disposing of abandoned mattresses. That’s money that could be better spent on police and other vital services for the community