On December 31, 2014 the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) approved the Connecticut Mattress Stewardship Plan developed by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), a non-profit organization created by the mattress industry to develop and manage the statewide mattress recycling program established by Public Act 13-42. This makes Connecticut the first state to work with MRC to implement a statewide mattress recycling program.
The approved plan requires that retailers add a $9 recycling fee to each new or renovated mattress and box spring sold to Connecticut consumers. Consumers will begin to see this fee as a separate line item on their receipt beginning on May 1. Retailers and other businesses selling mattresses will remit the fees to MRC. The fees will pay for contractors that will collect and recycle the mattresses.
“Today, Connecticut has taken another step towards reaffirming its leadership in materials management,” said Robert Klee Commissioner of DEEP. “I applaud the mattress industry for working with us to develop a solution that protects consumers, works efficiently with our existing municipal solid waste networks and values the recovery of the natural resources contained in the thousands of mattresses that are buried in landfills, lost to incineration or abandoned in our communities each year.”
This program will divert mattresses from the solid waste stream to recyclers who will extract valuable resources including steel, foam and cotton from each mattress. It also minimizes recycling costs to consumers because the statewide program creates an economy of scale.
“Responsibly managing discarded mattresses benefits consumers and the environment, and it’s most effective when done on a large scale,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC. “Through this law, the mattress industry has developed a self-sustaining infrastructure for handling these products.”
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 to about 50,000 daily.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is the fee charged on any type of mattress?
The law defines mattress as a new or renovated mattress or box spring. It 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 air mattress, fold-out sofa bed or futon.
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 or waste-to-energy facility, can now be recycled. Consumers may also drop off mattresses at designated recycling facilities at no charge.
What types of mattresses will the program accept for recycling?
Any mattress or box spring discarded by Connecticut consumers 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