Let’s Put The Used Mattress Recycling Legislation To Bed, SB 254 (Hancock/Correa) Press Conference Demonstrates Broad-Based Support

SACRAMENTO, CA – September 05, 2013
Wednesday, California State Senators Loni Hancock (SD-9, Berkeley) and Lou Correa (SD-34, Santa Ana); Mark Murray, Californians Against Waste; Ryan Trainer, President, International Sleep Products Association; and others joined Californians for Mattress Recycling in a press conference discussing the merits of SB 254.

When explaining SB 254, Senator Hancock said, “SB 254 will remove used mattresses from our streets, help create new green jobs, and save money for local governments. SB 254 is a practical and innovative solution to a serious problem.”

Per the language in the legislation, SB 254 will establish an economical and practical system for recycling used mattresses, reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, harness existing infrastructure for transporting used mattresses to recyclers, and minimize costs to both government and consumers.

Senator Lou Correa stated, “Californians buy about 4 million new mattresses and box springs each year, and discard roughly 2 million units. Dealing with discarded mattresses is a big job for this state. The goals set forth in SB 245 establish a sound foundation to move California forward in further preserving and protecting our communities from blight.”

The intent of SB 254 is to create a used mattress recycling program that will keep old mattresses out of landfills, off highways, and out of vacant lots and alleys. 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, and is similar to other used mattress recycling legislation signed into law in Rhode Island and Connecticut earlier this year.

“Used mattresses currently represent over $20 million cost and blight for California communities,” said CAW Executive Director Mark Murray. “SB 254 implements a model producer responsibility solution that will turn this disposal cost into a jobs and recycling benefit. This will mean more convenience for consumers, cost savings for communities, and job growth for recycling businesses.”

Enjoying a broad range of support, many coalition partners were in attendance at the press conference such as representatives from the California Retailers Association, the California Apartment Association, CalChamber, and Blue Marble Materials, a mattress recycling facility.

In noting the support of the coalition, International Sleep Products Association President, Ryan Trainer stated, “By keeping focused on the common goal of creating a comprehensive used mattress recycling program, we have been able to put our differences aside, make practical compromises and remain loyal to the intent of creating legislation that will meet the needs of consumers, the environment and business.”

SB 254 creates a non-profit mattress recycling organization whose duty would be to plan, implement and administer a state system to collect discarded used mattresses, dismantle them and recycle their materials for use in new products. The program will be sustained by collecting a nominal fee at retail on the sale of new mattresses and box-springs. The fee collected does not go into government coffers, but is remitted directly to the organization responsible for running the mattress-recycling program.

Debra Carlton, senior vice president of public affairs for the California Apartment Association, said, ‘The bill provides a free and convenient way for a renter to get rid of an old mattress before moving out. A tenant who takes advantage of the bill can get back more of his or her security deposit since the cost of disposal isn’t left with the landlord, Carlton said.

In closing, Shelly Sullivan representing Californians for Mattress Recycling stated, “SB 254 is a fantastic illustration of what is possible. It strikes a carefully considered balance that will increase used mattress recycling, reduce urban blight from illegally dumped mattresses, and cut local and municipal government costs, while at the same time financing the process in a sustainable and equitable manner.”

SB 254 will now move to the Assembly Floor for approval.  You can watch the press conference here.

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