MRC Awards More Than $120,000 in Grants to California Collection Sites

MRC has awarded more than $120,000 in grant funding to 15 mattress collection sites throughout the state. The funds will be used for equipment and infrastructure improvements to increase the recyclability of discarded mattresses and box springs by providing weather protection, or to achieve other efficiencies such as lowering costs and improving safety.

“We have more than 200 mattress collection sites in California that offer our residents free mattress recycling, a valuable service that plays a key role in the success of the Bye Bye Mattress Program,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “Providing grant funding to eligible sites will help further improve our recycling rate and keep more material out of California landfills.”

Projects to be funded through the grants include the construction of weather coverings and cement pads to protect mattress integrity, mobile loading ramps to help with transportation and storage of mattresses and additional storage space to house and protect mattresses.

Grant awardees include:

• Coalinga Transfer Station (Fresno County)
• Florin Perkins Disposal Site (Sacramento County)
• Foothill Sanitary Landfill (San Joaquin County)
• Green Waste Recovery (Santa Clara County)
• Helendale Community Services District (San Bernardino County)
• Johnson Canyon Landfill & Recycling Center (Monterey County)
• Jolon Road Transfer Station (Monterey County)
• Kingsburg Transfer Station (Fresno County)
• Lovelace Materials Recovery Facility (San Joaquin County)
• Neal Road Recycling and Waste Facility (Butte County)
• North County Recycling Center (San Joaquin County)
• Recology Vallejo (Solano County)
• City of Sanger (Fresno County)
• Sun Street Transfer Station (Monterey County)
• Turlock Transfer Station (Stanislaus County)

The grant program is part of MRC’s annual $1 million research fund designed to improve the recyclability of discarded mattresses and box springs and build new markets for recycled mattress materials. This initiative also includes evaluating and implementing efficiencies in the mattress recycling process.

For more information about the research fund, including the grant program, visit

Three Million Mattresses Recycled in California

The Mattress Recycling Council’s (MRC) Bye Bye Mattress Program (Program) announced today it has recycled more than 3 million mattresses in California since its inception in 2016. The Program offers no-cost, environmentally friendly alternatives to Californians disposing of old mattresses through local collection sites, public events and collaborations with local retailers and solid waste providers.

“Reaching this milestone in less than three years of operation is a significant achievement,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “We share the Program’s success with our dedicated contractors and participating collection sites across California. We also have continued support from elected officials that voted for this law in 2013.”

More than 80 percent of mattresses can be recycled and turned into new consumer and industrial products. For example, old mattress foam is recycled into carpet padding, mattress springs are sold as scrap steel, which is melted to make building materials and other steel products, and wood from box springs is chipped and used as landscape mulch. More about the mattress recycling process can be found here.

“The MRC Program is one of the most effective Product Stewardship Programs Butte County is associated with,” said Steve Rodowick, recycling coordinator with Butte County. “This program saves us money, manpower and above all, valuable landfill space.”

A recycling fee collected when consumers buy mattresses and box springs in California funds the Program. MRC uses the fee to establish free drop-off locations and collection events throughout the state. Collected mattresses are then transported from these sites to regional recyclers that dismantle and recycle mattress components. Consumers may take their old mattresses to more than 230 drop-off locations and collection events throughout California. The Program also recycles mattresses collected by retailers, hotels, universities and other sources that discard mattresses in large volumes.

“Our work with the Mattress Recycling Council fulfills our mission to provide youth in San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties with an opportunity to develop work skills and preserve California’s environment,” said Deborah Phillips with the Greater Valley Conservation Corps, a San Joaquin Office of Education program. “In less than a year, Greater Valley Conservation Corps crew members have helped recycle more than two thousand mattresses, while also gaining the experience they need to move into green sector careers.”

In addition to recycling, the Program works to prevent illegal dumping, which includes the Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative. By working with local communities, this $1 million initiative has helped remove more than 63,000 improperly disposed-of mattresses from alleys, sidewalks and other public spaces throughout California since 2016.

“The Bye Bye Mattress Program exemplifies California’s leadership in a sustainable and circular economy by creating green jobs,” said O’Donnell. “After less than three years, we’ve made progress toward reducing our environmental footprint, conserving landfill space and supporting California’s statewide recycling goals.”

California’s Illegally Dumped Mattress Initiative

As part of California’s law, MRC developed the Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative to identify where mattresses are illegally dumped in the state, and proactively address the issue in affected communities. One component of this strategy includes financial compensation to entities responsible for collecting illegally dumped mattresses in their communities.

Entities responsible for collection of illegally dumped mattresses from public rights-of-way can register to receive compensation in exchange for data identifying the location of dumping activities. These entities include California local governments, certain participating permitted solid waste facilities and authorized solid waste operations. It is important to note that units collected through bulky item and curbside mattress pick-up services are not eligible for reimbursement because those units are not illegally dumped.

Registered collectors of illegally dumped mattresses will be paid up to $15.00 per unit for data specific to illegal mattress dumping. The actual per unit rate is calculated at the close of a calendar year by dividing the total funded amount, by the number of illegally dumped units collected and reported in 2018.

If your organization is eligible to participate, please register! Contact Mark Patti, MRC’s Southern California Program Coordinator.

MRC Reaches New Heights
Surpasses 3 Million Mattress Milestone

Almost three years after MRC first launched Bye Bye Mattress, MRC recyclers have collected 3 million mattresses from hundreds of cities, towns, solid waste facilities, landfills, and other entities like retailers, hotels, and universities in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

MRC works with ten recyclers that dismantle the discarded mattresses and recycle the reclaimed steel, foam and other mattress components. These recyclers are located throughout the three states providing local jobs. Groups like the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Institutes of Health estimate that for every 10,000 pounds of material recycled, dozens of jobs are created.

“Although the early years of this Program have been successful, we still have lots of work to do,” said MRC Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “We continue to focus on improving consumer access to recycling, deterring illegal dumping and growing public awareness of our programs.”

MRC’s progress has also attracted international attention. In 2017, IMM, an international interior furnishings show in Cologne, Germany, asked MRC to host a mattress recycling educational session. It provided MRC the opportunity to learn from similar programs in Australia, Italy, France and the United Kingdom. MRC is furthering those discussions at ISPA’s 2018 EXPO as leaders from mattress recycling programs in Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the European Union take part in a Mattress Recycling Summit.

New & Improved Recycling Locator

Before California, Connecticut and Rhode Island passed their recycling laws, The Mattress Recycling Council developed a list of recyclers across the country known as the recycling locator. Now that these states have implemented their Bye Bye Mattress program, the locator has grown to accommodate collection sites and collection events, as well as a growing audience of users. More complex listings and a demand for a better user experience both from the general public and industry has resulted in major redevelopments. These improvements include:

  • Personalized Map Display –The locator automatically knows where you are located based on your computer’s IP address. Nearby collection sites and recyclers are immediately visible and differentiated by color coded markers.
  • No More Scrolling for Results – Results are listed beside the map in order of proximity. Collection events are displayed separately.
  • Improved Filtering Capabilities – Only want to see the recycling facilities or places that will accept business/large volume at no-cost? Then check that box. Advanced search also allows further refinement of the results.

In addition to the improved power and intuitiveness of the search functionality and user-friendly results displays, we’ve leveraged the locator’s data to improve other portions of our websites. For example, state pages now display statewide location listings and a map view.

Please visit the new and improved to explore all the mattress recycling options available in your area.

COLLECTION SITES & EVENT HOSTS – Please verify the accuracy of your listing. Contact MRC’s Marketing & Communications with any revisions or questions.

Ocean State Waves Hello to Bye Bye Mattress

On Sunday, Rhode Island becomes the third state in the nation with a free recycling program for mattresses and box springs. The program, known as Bye Bye Mattress, has established free collection points in cities and towns across the state. Rhode Island residents can find their nearest participating collection site or recycling facility at beginning May 1.

Bye Bye Mattress is administered by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), a non-profit organization created by the mattress industry to develop and manage the recycling program mandated by law in 2013. The program is funded through a $10 recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold to Rhode Island consumers. Consumers will notice this fee as a separate line item on their receipt. The fee is used to pay for transporting and recycling the discarded mattresses.

“Combating Illegal dumping and reducing the impact on landfills have always been concerns for the mattress industry,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association. “We have found that recycling can be a realistic option for these products and help us address these issues when, like in Rhode Island, a program has the support of state and local governments, consumers and businesses.”

Solid waste facilities in 31 towns are participating as designated collection locations and more are expected to join throughout 2016. MRC will also work with mattress retailers, hotels, universities, healthcare facilities and other public and private entities in Rhode Island to divert mattresses from the solid waste stream.

In addition to establishing these free collection points, the program will also provide a $2 consumer incentive when an individual chooses to drop off a mattress or box spring at Ace Mattress Recycling in West Warwick.  No more than eight mattresses per household per year are eligible for the incentive and individuals may not deliver more than four mattresses at a time.

“We currently handle approximately 32,000 mattresses a year at the Central Landfill,” said Sarah Reeves, Director of Public Policy Programs & Planning for Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC). “With recycling now a more convenient and free option for all state residents, we hope to see that number decrease significantly.”

RIRRC and other stakeholders in the program, including government officials, municipal and solid waste representatives and the mattress industry, will gather at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 3 at RIRRC’s Central Landfill in Johnston to commemorate the launch of the program.

MRC Adds New Territory Representative to California Team

MRC would like to welcome Elizabeth Wagner to our California implementation team. She will be responsible for a variety of program tasks including working with municipalities, retailers, recyclers, and other mattress generators in Northern California.

Wagner’s previous experience includes over two years working for CalRecycle to oversee product stewardship programs affecting other product categories in California. Some of her responsibilities included tracking the development of new legislation and management strategies for difficult to manage materials. Wagner holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

“Liz is well respected in the environmental community and has a robust understanding of laws created to encourage recycling of consumer products at end of life,” said Mike O’Donnell, managing director of MRC. “We are pleased to have her join our team and look forward to expanding the program to more communities throughout California.”

The Mattress Recycling Council is a non-profit organization formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs in three states that have enacted mattress recycling laws; Connecticut, California and Rhode Island. Each state’s program will be funded by a recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold. The fees pay for the transportation and recycling of the mattresses. To learn more, go to

MRC launches Illegal Mattress Dumping Compensation Program in California

MRC has just launched a program to help mitigate costs of collecting illegally dumped mattresses in California communities. This program allows agencies responsible for the collection of illegally dumped mattresses from the public right-of-way, including California local governments, certain permitted solid waste facilities, and authorized solid waste operations to receive payment from MRC for the collection of illegally dumped mattresses. MRC has allocated a total of $750,000 to fund this effort for 2016. Eligible entities that wish to receive reimbursement must register and begin tracking the number of illegally dumped mattresses collected. Register for the program and see the complete eligibility requirements and reporting instructions at, or contact Mark Patti at

Our Lunch & Learn: Say Hello To Bye Bye Mattress at ISPA Expo 2016, Wednesday, March 9th 12-1PM

Bye Bye Mattress is the consumer-facing brand created by MRC.  MRC was created to run the newly-minted mattress recycling programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.  Learn about mattress recycling from the viewpoints of regulators, operators, retailers, and PR experts.  Hear how the industry is responding to these programs and how MRC is using consumer outreach to promote the industry and its recycling efforts.

We hope to see you there!

Rhode Island Plan Approved

On January 13, 2016, the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation (RIRRC) approved the Rhode Island Mattress Recycling Plan proposed 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 General Law 23-90.  This makes Rhode Island the third state to authorize MRC to implement a statewide mattress recycling program.  Connecticut and California launched their programs in 2015.  MRC will launch the Rhode Island program on May 1, 2016.

The approved plan requires that retailers add a $10 recycling fee to each new or renovated mattress and box spring sold to Rhode Island consumers.  Consumers will see this fee as a separate line item on their receipt beginning May 1.  Retailers and other businesses selling mattresses will remit those fees to MRC.  The fees will pay for transportation and recycling of discarded mattresses. Rhode Island’s law resulted from the International Sleep Products Association’s (ISPA) effort to develop a practical and economically efficient approach to mattress recycling.

“Resource Recovery couldn’t be happier to see this program on the near horizon,” said Michael OConnell, Executive Director of RIRRC. “Mattresses and box springs are made from nearly 90% recyclable materials. These materials are valuable to manufacturers and do not belong in our state’s landfill. Proper recycling of discarded mattresses means that the Rhode Island Central Landfill’s life will be further extended and cities and towns will save money.”

This program will divert mattresses from landfills to recyclers who will extract valuable resources including steel, foam, and cotton from each mattress.  The program will also allow consumers to drop-off their discarded mattresses free of charge at designated locations.

“The mattress industry is leading the way in responsibly managing discarded mattresses. This program benefits consumers, local and state governments, and the environment,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and ISPA.  “Through this law, the industry has developed an efficient infrastructure for handling these products and a sustainable means for funding this work.”

MRC estimates that in the United States at least 20 million mattresses and box springs are discarded each year.  This averages to about 50,000 units per day.


Is the fee charged on any type of mattress?
The law defines mattress as a new, used 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 Rhode Island 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
• Pillows
• 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

Where can consumers receive more information including recycling locations?
Visit for more information.

About Mattress Recycling Council
The Mattress Recycling Council is a non-profit organization formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs in states that have enacted mattress recycling laws – Connecticut, California and Rhode Island.  Each state’s program will be funded by a recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold. The fees pay for the transportation and recycling of the mattresses.  To learn more, go to

About ISPA
Established in 1915, the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) is dedicated to protecting and enhancing the growth, profitability and stature of the mattress industry. As the industry’s trade organization, ISPA is the voice of the mattress industry, representing mattress manufacturers and suppliers throughout the world. To learn more, visit or contact

About Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation
Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation is the quasi-state environmental agency dedicated to providing the public with environmentally sound and cost-effective programs and facilities to manage Rhode Island’s waste. The agency manages the state’s recycling program, and owns and operates the Materials Recycling Facility and Central Landfill in Johnston.