Mattress Recycling Bill Passed by State Senate

Mattress RecyclingDisposing off biodegradable or recyclable waste like paper or plastic is easy. But what about disposing off old mattresses? With approximately two million mattresses and box springs being dumped on California’s open spaces, it’s not surprising that the State Senate passed a bill for recycling of old mattresses on Thursday, May 30.

The mattress recycling bill in California

It’s not the first time a bill of this nature has been tabled in California. An earlier bill by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) was opposed by mattress recyclers who feared it would result in new regulations non-conducive to business.

The current bill, SB 254, is viewed as a compromise and contains elements of the earlier bill. Tabled by Senator Lou Corea (D-Santa Ana), it proposes a recycling model similar to that used for the disposal of paints, tires, and electronic waste. According to the new proposal, a non-profit industry group will handle the mattress recycling process. It will be funded through a fee collected from mattress buyers in the form of a marginal increase in the retail cost of the mattress (roughly $25 per unit), which will also cover retailers’ costs related to picking up old mattresses when delivering new ones to consumers.

This bill makes California the first state to require the recycling of old mattresses in the nation. It is backed by bedding manufacturers, environmentalists, and retailers among others. According to an industry official, this bill will help in delivering old mattresses to recyclers, creating recycling jobs, and minimizing costs for both the government and consumers. Most importantly, it will end the practice of discarding old mattresses on city streets, vacant lots, and rural lands.

International Sleep Products Association President, Ryan Trainer, says that the new mattress recycling policy “will benefit consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and the environment.”  Representing Californians for Mattress Recycling, Shelly Sullivan calls the bill a “good common sense legislation that helps Californians improve their recycling performance.”

Importance of recycling mattresses and encouraging eco friendly promotional items

Discarded mattresses take up valuable landfill space. They also increase wear and tear on landfill machinery, forcing landfill operators to raise their fees. With mattress recycling, storage space is saved, recycling facilities do good business, and other companies get access to cheap salvaged materials, which can be used to manufacture a range of products, from insulation material to motorcycle seats.

Environmentally conscious companies would do well to consider using eco-friendly promotional items as part of their marketing efforts. There are already quite a few companies providing biodegradable and recyclable promotional products – everything from pens to bags.


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