Sept 12 - West Coast's First Mattress Recycling Bill Headed to Governor's Desk (Press Release)

Sept. 12, 2013

SACRAMENTO - The first mattress recycling bill on the west coast is headed to the Governor’s desk. The measure, which creates a statewide mattress recycling program in California, passed off the Assembly Floor with bipartisan support with a 66-11 vote.

The bill, coauthored by Senators Loni Hancock and Lou Correa, creates recycling opportunities for the more than 4 million mattresses generated in the state annually. Due to their large size and high costs for disposal, used mattresses have commonly been discarded on road sides, causing blight, public health threats, and millions of dollars in added cleanup costs.

"This bill creates benefits across the board," said CAW Executive Director Mark Murray. "It reduces the blight created by illegally dumped mattresses and creates a model producer responsibility solution. This program not only provides customers with convenience in recycling their used mattresses, it helps local governments and creates recycling jobs. A problem that used to cost California taxpayers $20 million will now create revenue through new employment and business opportunities."

The statewide recycling program will be operated by a non-profit stewardship organization to create incentives for increased mattress recycling and renovation. These operations will be overseen by CalRecycle and a Mattress Recycling Advisory Committee. The system will be financed by a recycling charge on new mattress sales, providing consumers with free and convenient opportunities for mattress pick up, drop-off and recycling.|

While SB 254 follows the trend towards non-governmental producer reasonability, Senator Hancock and Californians Against Waste demanded that the program include a role for other stakeholders through a formal Recycling Advisory Committee.

"We didn’t want to make the same mistake of letting the industry run the whole show as is the case in most of the other producer responsibility schemes across North America for e-waste, paint and carpet," said Murray. "Recyclers, renovators, local governments, collectors and environmentalists are all going to have a seat at the table to make sure that this program works to increase renovation and recycling without adding new costs for local government and ratepayers."

SB 254 is substantially the same as SB 1118, authored by Senator Hancock last year, which received bipartisan support but missed the midnight deadline for a concurrence vote.

Governor Brown has until October 13 to sign or veto the bill. Earlier this year, Rhode Island and Connecticut also adopted mattress recycling laws.

Photo: Senator Loni Hancock spoke on the Senate Floor today before the concurrence vote.

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