Today, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) approved the budget and recycling fee that the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) had proposed to fund its California Mattress Recycling Program (which will be known to consumers as Bye Bye Mattress). MRC is a non-profit organization established by the mattress industry to implement the Used Mattress Recovery & Recycling Act, a law California passed in 2013 that requires the mattress industry to create and administer a program to promote mattress recycling in the state. As a result of today’s approval, mattress retailers and other sellers must collect an $11 recycling fee on each mattress or box spring sold to California end-users. The fee will go into effect beginning December 30, 2015, and applies to all sales of new, used and renovated mattresses and box springs. For these purposes, a mattress and a box spring are each considered a separate unit, and the fee must be collected on each unit.
To comply with this new law, both brick-and-mortar and online retailers selling mattresses in or into California must register at www.MRCreporting.org. This secure portal also allows retailers to submit monthly sales reports and remit collected recycling fees.
The fees will be used to fund mattress collection, transportation and recycling services throughout California. The program will also create a network of collection sites for California residents, hotels, universities, hospitals and military bases and will support a fund to help communities battle illegal dumping.
“Since the law passed two years ago, MRC has been building relationships with stakeholders to bring no-cost mattress collection to communities throughout California,” said Ryan Trainer, president of Mattress Recycling Council and the International Sleep Products Association. “It’s exciting to see all of our planning come to fruition. We look forward to helping the state meet its recycling goals and provide Californians with an efficient and responsible way to manage their discarded mattresses.”
MRC estimates that in the United States, at least 20 million mattresses and box springs are discarded each year when consumers replace their old mattress with a new one. This averages about 50,000 units per day.
In May, 2015, MRC launched the nation’s first Bye Bye Mattress recycling program in Connecticut and has recycled over 50,000 units to date. Rhode Island has a similar law and expects its program to begin in the Spring of 2016. To learn more about these state programs, go to www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
I am a mattress retailer and I want to become compliant with this new law and program. Where can I learn more?
MRC has provided a toll-free support line, dedicated email, written guidelines and a step-by-step video to assist the mattress industry with registering through MRCreporting.org.
– Toll-Free Support: 1-888-646-6815
– Support Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
– Written Guidelines & Video: www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org/resources
Is the fee charged on other sleep products?
The law defines a mattress as a new, used or renovated mattress or box spring. The term does not include any mattress pad, mattress topper, sleeping bag, pillow, car bed, carriage, basket, dressing table, stroller, playpen, infant carrier, lounge pad, crib bumper, waterbed or camping-style air mattress, fold-out sofa bed or futon.
Do I include the fee on the sales receipt or customer invoice?
Yes, the fee must be listed as a separate line item on the sales receipt or other sales documentation provided to the customer, and it must be described as “RECYCLING FEE.”
Is the fee subject to sales tax?
The fee is subject to sales tax in Connecticut and Rhode Island.
In California, the California Board of Equalization (BOE) has issued a tax opinion informing MRC that the California mattress recycling fee is not subject to sales tax.
Does MRC provide resources that will help me communicate this new law and fee to my customers?
Yes. MRC has developed information cards, in-store posters and a customer FAQ document. Each is available in the resources area of mattressrecyclingcouncil.org. Information cards are provided at no-cost to every registered retailer (includes shipping and handling).
How can consumers recycle a mattress?
Consumers will continue to dispose of mattresses through traditional methods, such as municipal collection or drop-off, or retailer take-back when a new mattress is delivered. These mattresses, which may have previously gone to a landfill, can now be recycled. Consumers may also drop off discarded mattresses at designated recycling facilities at no charge.
What happens to a recycled mattress?
A mattress recycled through the Bye Bye Mattress program is deconstructed and broken into four main components – steel, foam, wood and fibers. These are used to make other new products like filters, automotive insulation, carpet padding and more.
What types of mattresses will the California program accept for recycling?
Any mattress or box spring discarded by California consumers and businesses is eligible for recycling. However, the program will not accept:
• Severely damaged, wet, twisted, frozen or soiled mattresses or box springs
• Mattresses or box springs infested with bed bugs
• Mattress pads or toppers
• Sleeping bags
• Car beds
• Juvenile products (i.e., carriage, basket, dressing table, stroller, playpen, infant carrier, lounge pad, or crib bumpers)
• Crib and bassinet mattresses
• Water beds or camping air mattresses
• Fold-out sofa beds
• Futons and furniture
I’d like to recycle mattresses I collect from my customers through the program. How do I begin?
Contact your program coordinator to discuss your expected mattress volume and logistical needs.
– Northern California: Rodney Clara email@example.com
– Southern California: Mark Patti firstname.lastname@example.org