In recent years, illegal dumping of mattresses has become rampant, especially in parts of the state that have been hardest hit by the recent recession and people cannot afford to pay for disposal. Not only is this a public health issue since illegally dumped mattresses provide nesting grounds for rodents, bed bugs, fleas, etc, they cause blight in neighborhoods.
While mattresses are readily recyclable, it appears that only about 5% of the more than 4 million used mattresses generated in California are recycled each year. Once dumped, mattresses are generally rendered unsuitable for recycling due to exposure to the elements.
SB 1118 will help reduce illegal dumping of mattresses by requiring mattress manufacturers to ensure that consumers are provided with no-cost disposal of old and ‘branded’ mattresses when they either purchase a new one, or no longer need the old one.
According to Senator Hancock,
"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."
Hancock added "Similar programs have successfully recycled bottles, televisions and e-waste. The costs of illegally dumped mattresses and the growing magnitude of the problem require action by the legislature."