Discarded Mattresses -- is it art?

We are waiting for the date to be set for SB 254 (Hancock/Correa) to be heard in the Assembly Natural Resources Committee.  We hope to hear very soon and will post an update as we receive more details.

In the meantime, here’s a remarkable link  to a California blogger’s ‘mattress project‘ that demonstrates the need for SB 254 (Hancock/Correa) — mattress recycling done right.

Now, it isn’t that we don’t appreciate public art, but rather than treat used mattresses as art let’s turn them into repurposed products — and do a little good for mother nature!  Let’s leave the art to the likes of Matt Lipps or Sanya Kantarovsky.  

As a reminder, the goal of SB 254 is to create a program that advocates the recycling of used mattresses in a manner that provides Californians with a comprehensive mattress recycling solution that is consumer-friendly, cost-effective and efficient.

For more information on SB 254 (Hancock/Correa) or to take action today!
Stay tuned, there’s always more mattress news!

Latest C4MR Blog by Shelly Sullivan

SB 254 (Hancock/Correa) Now Moves To The Assembly

On Wednesday, May 29, 2013, California’s State Senate approved SB 254 (Hancock/Correa) by a 32-5 bipartisan vote.

SB 254 creates a used mattress recycling program that will reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, harness existing infrastructure for transporting used mattresses to recyclers, create jobs, and minimize costs to both government and consumers.

International Sleep Products Association President, Ryan Trainer commented,  “We are very pleased the California State Senate recognizes that SB 254 will improve used mattress recycling in the state in a practical and efficient manner. Since its inception, all stakeholders have been diligently working to craft sound used mattress recycling policy that will benefit consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and the environment. I want to thank the bill’s authors, Senators Loni Hancock and Lou Correa, for their leadership on this issue.”

SB 254 enjoys a broad range of support from industry, retailers, cities, counties, local elected officials, and waste management organizations.  It simply puts a nominal fee on used mattresses akin to California’s paint recycling program.  SB 254 is a common sense approach that helps Californians improve their recycling performance.

SB 254 (Hancock/Correa) now moves to the Assembly for Committee hearings and a floor vote.  Which means our work on SB 254 continues.

We need your renewed support in our efforts in the California State Assembly.  If you are a mattress manufacturer, retailer or component supplier in California, Take action today and contact your California Senator.

From that website you can send an electronic letter to your Assembly Member asking that he or she SUPPORT SB 254 (Hancock/Correa).  In addition, please call your Representative’s District Office and the Capitol Office.  Email or call, C4MR spokeswoman Shelly Sullivan, at ssullivan@onemain.com or (916) 858-8686, for  the call-in numbers for your Assembly Member.


California Mattress Recycling Bill Heads to Senate Floor -- Take Action Today!

ISPA-supported California mattress recycling legislation, SB 254 (Hancock/Correa), was voted out of the Senate Appropriations Committee today. As you will recall, the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee approved SB 254 earlier this month and sent the bill to the Senate Appropriations Committee, which was the next step in the process. Following today’s vote, SB 254 is headed to the Senate Floor for a vote next week. After that vote, SB 254 will move to the Assembly.

We need your continued support in our efforts. If you are a manufacturer, retailer or industry vendor in California please take action today. At that website you can send a letter to your Senator asking that he or she SUPPORT SB 254 (Hancock-Correa). We would also like you to call your Representative’s District Office and the Capitol Office. Please email Shelly Sullivan, or call (916) 858-8686 and she will be happy to provide you with the call-in numbers.

Both tactics will not take much time out of your busy schedules, but the value they will provide will help ensure our legislation continues with support from both the Senate and Assembly and both parties.

Thank you for your time and commitment to our efforts to ensure SB 254 succeeds. As you know, it will establish a single program for recycling used mattresses that will be both economical and practical, reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, harness existing infrastructure for transporting used mattresses to recyclers, and minimize costs to industry, government and consumers.

Mattress recycling - where commerce and legislation meet

In this video you will hear from 2 California legislators (Correa and Calderon) on why Californians for Mattress Recycling (C4MR) supports legislation- SB 254.  SB 254 strives to establish a mattress recycling system in California. The primary goals of this plan are to:

  • Create an economically practical system for recycling used mattresses;
  • Reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses;
  • Harness existing infrastructure for getting used mattresses to recyclers;
  • Minimize cost to governments and consumers.


SB 254 is supported by the mattress industry and its Association, the International Sleep Products Association.

SB 254 - where are you today?

On April 29, 2013 our legislation, SB 254 (Hancock-Correa) was heard in the Senate Appropriations Committee.  Senate Appropriations is where any legislation with a fiscal impact to the state must be heard.  The Appropriations Chairman, Senator Kevin de Leon ordered the bill to the ‘suspense file.’  All ‘suspense file’ bills will be heard toward the end of May.  We expect SB 254 to come off the ‘suspense file’ and move to the Senate Floor for a vote before May 31st, which is the deadline for all bills to be passed out of the house of origin (in this case the Senate).

California is not alone in its "Recycling Sate of Mind"

Prior to adjourning on March 14, the Utah Legislature passed a resolution announcing its intent to study “the creation and implementation of a program to recycle mattresses.” 
read more 


April 19, 2013
Contact:  Shelly Sullivan – (916) 858-8686

Sacramento, CA — On Wednesday, April 17, 2013, the California’s State Senate Environmental Quality Committee approved SB 254 (Hancock-Correa) by a 6-0 vote.

SB 254 creates a used mattress recycling program that will have a dedicated funding mechanism, reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, harness existing infrastructure for transporting used mattresses to recyclers, creates jobs, and minimizes costs to both government and consumers.

Californians for Mattress Recycling Spokesperson, Shelly Sullivan stated, “We applaud the leadership of the Environmental Quality Chair, Senator Jerry Hill along with Senators Correa and Hancock and the International Sleep Products Association and Californians Against Waste for working so diligently late last week to amend the critical components of the Correa bill, SB 245 into SB 254 prior to this hearing.”

The result provides Californians with a comprehensive mattress recycling solution that is consumer friendly and efficient.  The SB 254 model is now very similar to existing successful recycling systems in California for paint and used carpet.

International Sleep Products Association President, Ryan Trainer commented, “We are pleased to be moving forward with a single bill to address used mattress recycling in California. SB 254 (Hancock-Correa) remains a work in progress, and we are confident that by working with all stakeholders, we can continue our efforts to develop public policy that will be best for California mattress consumers, retailers, manufacturers and the environment.”

Sullivan noted, “A lot of speculation has been made about the financial figures associated with this legislation.  Those costs will be determined by the recycling program group, but it is critical to note that manufacturers and retailers do not want those costs to be any higher than absolutely necessary.  The goal is to assure that we establish a sound recycling program that is easy to use in removing used mattresses from landfills, vacant lots and highways.”

SB 254 (Hancock-Correa) now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.



This is no place for a mattress -- Industry taking lead to recycle

By Gary James / March 2013

As traditional methods of used mattress disposal become more expensive and subject to regulation in some states, recycling is assuming a more prominent role in helping the bedding industry manage the longtime challenge of what to do with big, boxy rectangles at the end of their useful lives.  Continue reading

Blue Marble aims to be a national recycler

BedTimes Magazine reports in its March issue:
A major new mattress recycling operation called Blue Marble Materials is set to officially open in the Los Angeles area on March 1.  Read More.



From Steel to Fibers, the Mattress as Trove - an article from The New York Times

This article was originally posted on Green – A Blog about Energy and the Environment

The typical mattress is a 60-pound chunk of fiber, foam and steel springs. Roughly 8,000 of them end up in American landfills every day. That amounts to nearly 175 million pounds of wasted material a year that slowly rots away there, taking up already diminished space.

It’s a problem that some say requires a federal response, although there is no plan for now to institute mattress recycling on a nationwide scale. But some smaller efforts are inching forward.

On Tuesday, for example, the international nonprofit group Enactus announced that students from Belmont University in Nashville had won the group’s Enactus World Cup for starting up a mattress recycling enterprise. The students’ project, called Spring Back Recycling, hired homeless people and former prison inmates to dismantle mattresses so the materials could be reused.

Ryan Trainer, president of the International Sleep Products Association, which has pushed for the creation of a federal recycling initiative along those lines, said that such projects help call attention to the problem of discarded mattresses in the meantime.

Mr. Trainer said that only 30 or so retail recycling businesses around the country accept mattresses. They are usually far from city centers. he said, and most charge a recycling fee, which may prompt people to dump them in the street instead. Few recycling companies industries are attracted to urban areas because of the high cost of real estate and labor, he added.

Another problem, said Barrie Brown, a mattress retailer who worked with Spring Back Recycling, is the resale of old mattresses disguised as new ones or newly recycled ones. “The used mattresses are recovered with low-cost fabrics and sold as new,” he said in an e-mail. “They merely cover all of the past sins and stains with a slip cover.” That tends to stir suspicions of both mattress retailers and recyclers, he said.

So when it comes to mattresses, many cities skip the recycling option and fast-track them to landfills instead.

Seeking to prevent that from happening to their own discards, plenty of city dwellers head to Internet forums for advice. The suggestion often tends to bedonating them to the Salvation Army or listing the mattress at a Web site like Freecycle, which offers up goods for reuse.

Of course, some people are unwilling to sleep on a donated mattress because of the threat of bedbug infestation a common problem in cities including New York.

While a mattress can be difficult to dismantle, many recyclers will argue that it is the best option of all. With its dense coils of steel, layers of fiber, and occasionally, wood, it is a rich source of reusable material. “The inner spring is of the biggest value – that’s the meat that you want to get out,” said Mr. Trainer, although he acknowledged that it was hardly a fortune. (A set of springs from an average mattress can fetch up to $3.50.) The coils are melted down and sold to steel companies.

The foam and fiber are shredded and used in carpeting and insulation, and any wood can be handed over to a wood chipper. Ridding the material of dirt and bugs involves heating it to high temperatures, which can be expensive, however. And the going price for steel fluctuates..

That’s why Mr. Trainer says that smaller projects like Spring Back Recycling should be scaled up and governments and businesses should support the efforts of the few recycling companies that do accept mattresses. Industry competition could drive down prices and help people rethink their waste cycles, he said.