Feb 13 - Legislation Offers Recycling Solutions to Mattress Dumping Problem

Senator Loni Hancock (D- Oakland) today introduced legislation to halt illegal dumping and increase recycling of unwanted mattresses.

"Illegally dumped mattresses are a terrible blight on our communities," Senator Hancock has stated. "They not only deface a neighborhood but they can become a health hazard and a breeding ground for mold and pests."

"The risk these mattresses pose is not limited to the health of our citizens," Hancock added. "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 fixing our streets and other vital services for the community."

In California’s 10 largest cities alone, 473,000 mattresses are illegally dumped at a cost to public agencies of about $20 million annually.

SB 254(Hancock) will:
• Provide consumers with a free and convenient opportunity to recycle their mattresses
• Require manufacturers to finance and implement a plan for recovering and recycling their products
• Reduce blight and public agency cost of illegal dumping of mattresses
• Set phased in recycling goals for mattresses (initially 25% and 75% by 2020)
• Follow in the footsteps of the bottle, television and e-waste recycling programs, all of which have been highly successful in California.

SB 254 is sponsored by Californians Against Waste (CAW) and is supported by local governments, community and environmental groups.

"SB 254 puts forward a specific recycling solution to the costly problem of mattress dumping, said CAW Executive Director Mark Murray."

"The current system is costing local governments and taxpayers up to $70 million per year in disposal and clean-up costs. With the passage of SB 254 we can reduce illegal dumping, eliminate the burden on taxpayers and cut the cost in half with more recycling."