Connecticut Says Hello to Bye Bye Mattress

Today, Connecticut becomes the first state in the nation with a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program, known as 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 state mattress recycling program mandated by law in 2013. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), city leaders and representatives from the solid waste and recycling industry gathered at the City of Hartford’s Bulky Waste & Recycling Center to commemorate the inaugural truckload of mattresses bound for the recycling facility.

“The implementation of this first in the nation mattress stewardship program means previously discarded mattresses will be recycled in an environmentally sound manner, sustaining jobs in Connecticut and resulting in cost savings for municipalities,” said DEEP’s Commissioner Robert Klee. “This program mirrors similar stewardship programs the state has enacted for electronics, paint and thermostats. We recognize the Mattress Recycling Council for their commitment to the success of this program and the City of Hartford for their leadership in getting this law passed.”

Bye Bye Mattress allows Connecticut residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites and recycling facilities for free. Almost 50 cities and towns across Connecticut have joined the program as designated collection locations, with some also providing curb-side pick-up. These sites span the state across urban and rural areas. Residents that take their used mattresses directly to one of the designated recycling facilities located in East Hartford or Bridgeport will receive $2 per mattress from the recycler (limit four per person per day/eight per person per year). Connecticut residents can find their nearest participating collection site or recycling facility at www.byebyemattress.com.

MRC is also working with mattress retailers, hotels, military facilities, universities, healthcare facilities and other public and private entities in Connecticut to divert mattresses from the solid waste stream. It will report the program’s progress to DEEP each October.

“Working with all stakeholders, the industry has taken a major step toward creating a cost-effective solution to a long-term problem,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC. “We designed Connecticut’s program to increase the recycling of used mattress materials by leveraging the existing waste collection infrastructure. MRC is working with many types of businesses and industries to recycle their used mattresses through the program. The Connecticut resident benefits from the no-cost drop-off opportunities. This will both encourage more mattress recycling as well as discourage illegal dumping.”

The program is funded through a $9 recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold to Connecticut 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.

Similar recycling programs are expected to launch in California and Rhode Island in 2016. To learn more about Bye Bye Mattress visit www.byebyemattress.com.

 

Recycling Facts

Each year, 35 to 40 million new mattresses and box springs are sold in the United States, and at least 15 to 20 million used mattresses and box springs are discarded.

More than 80% of a used mattress’ components can be recycled —the metal springs, foam, wood and fibers — and made into new useful products. For example:

  • The steel springs are recycled as metal scrap and can be melted and used to make new appliances, building materials and other steel products.
  • The foam can be turned into carpet underlayment or animal bed padding.
  • The wooden frames can be shredded to produce landscaping mulch.
  • The cotton and other fiber can be used in industrial oil filters and other textile applications.

The Recycling Process

Most recyclers currently use the following process to dismantle a mattress:

  1. The top mattress layer (including the outer fabric) is cut, peeled and separated from the mattress’ interior materials (which can include fiber, polyurethane or latex foam and steel springs).
  2. The interior materials are pulled apart and separated by type.
  3. Foam, fiber and other soft commodities are baled and compressed for transport to scrap dealers or companies that will consume them to make new products.
  4. Metal springs from mattresses and box springs are extracted and sent to scrap recyclers that will sell them to steel mills and foundries.
  5. Wood is chipped or shredded.

Customer Education Materials Now Available

BBM Receipt AttachmentAs MRC nears the May 1 launch of Connecticut’s Mattress Recycling Program, it is beginning to roll out its customer education materials. The general public will know the Connecticut Mattress Recycling Program as Bye Bye Mattress. This customer-facing identity is being reinforced by a microsite (byebyemattress.com), PSAs, online advertising and a media relations campaign. The goal of the public outreach is to help the customer become aware of the program and fee prior to a store visit and during his/her purchasing decision.

To support retailers at point-of-sale, MRC is providing retailers with a receipt attachment (order them here) and a list of frequently asked questions and suggested responses (download the customer Q&A). A media resources library is also under development that contains other in-store and customer communication materials such as posters, information sheets, and web and social media content.

MRC will continue to communicate with the industry via www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org and program updates.

Rhode Island Mattress Producers & Importers Must Join MRC by July 1, 2015

Rhode Island Code 23-90, which established the statewide mattress recycling program, requires that mattress producers and importers that sell, or offer mattresses for sale, to Rhode Island end users must join the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) by July 1, 2015. To join MRC, register at www.mrcreporting.org. To read the full announcement, click here.

Rhode Island’s Mattress Recycling Program will be similar to the programs in Connecticut and California and is expected to begin in early 2016.  For the latest program developments, sign up for program updates.

Recycling Fee Collection Begins May 1 in Connecticut

The $9 Recycling Fee must be collected on all sales of mattresses and box springs to Connecticut consumers beginning May 1. To learn more about the fee, its collection and remittance, please read the recent notices we sent to retailers and producers.

What California Mattress Retailers Need to Know

At this time retailers are encouraged to register with MRC at mrcreporting.org. California’s plan is still being developed and it will be submitted to CalRecycle in July. Once it is approved, MRC will announce the recycling fee and further details about its collection and remittance. Meanwhile, click here to learn more about the other obligations California retailers have under the law.

California Mattress Producers & Renovators Urged to Register with MRC

Mattress producers (manufacturers and importers) and renovators that do business in California and fail to register with the Mattress Recycling Council may be prohibited from selling in the state or could incur other penalties. In March, CalRecycle will begin to list those that are registered on their website, so don’t be left out! For more information about how the law affects producers and renovators, see our recent notices – Legal Requirements for Mattress Producers and Legal Requirements for Mattress Renovators.

Rodney Clara Joins MRC as Northern California Program Coordinator

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) has hired Rodney Clara as its Northern California Program Coordinator. He will be responsible for working with municipalities, retailers and other mattress generators, transporters and recyclers in Northern California.

Clara’s previous experience includes a 14 year history in the recycling and reuse industry. He began his career with Goodwill Industries as a resource recovery manager developing waste reduction/recycling programs in northern California and served as vice president and director for three California electronics recycling companies. Clara most recently worked as the senior project manager for Hugo Neu Recycling in New York where he developed and managed a business/customer oriented recycling program for electronic waste. Rodney received a degree from Santa Monica College and studied Environmental Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

“Rodney’s background demonstrates a proven track-record in deploying innovative recycling programs throughout California,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). “There are many transferable skills gained from his career in electronics waste recycling and his outside perspective will be valuable to our program team.”

MRC is a non-profit organization created by ISPA to develop and implement statewide recycling programs for California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, which all enacted mattress recycling laws in 2013. California’s program is expected to begin in early 2016. Currently, MRC is developing a comprehensive program plan which is due to California’s Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) by July 2015.

For more information about MRC implementation activities and the latest developments in mattress recycling, visit www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.

MRC Welcomes Mike O'Donnell as Managing Director

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) has hired Mike O’Donnell as Managing Director to oversee the implementation of its mattress recycling programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Based in the Pacific Northwest, he will be responsible for leading MRC’s day-to-day operations and managing program coordinators as they work with their state’s municipalities, retailers (and other mattress generators), transporters and recyclers.

Previously O’Donnell served as a consultant to MRC as it developed its program plans for these states, which each enacted mattress recycling laws in 2013. O’Donnell has over 20 years of experience managing solid and hazardous waste collection programs for private and public entities, including the development of legislated statewide recycling programs for paint and mercury-containing lamps. He currently sits on the national board of directors for the North American Hazardous Materials Managers Association.

“Mike is well respected in the recycling industry and waste management arena and has demonstrated a strong understanding of regulatory and operational issues,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). “We are extremely pleased to have Mike become a permanent member of our team and are confident that he has the leadership abilities and project management skills to implement these programs efficiently and successfully.”

MRC is a non-profit organization created by ISPA to develop and implement statewide recycling programs for California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. MRC is preparing for a May 1, 2015 launch of the Connecticut Mattress Recycling Program. Meanwhile, it is developing comprehensive program plans for California and Rhode Island, both of which must be submitted to the respective states by July 2015. MRC’s programs in California and Rhode Island are expected to commence in early 2016.

For more information about MRC implementation activities and the latest developments in mattress recycling, visit www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.
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Connecticut’s Statewide Mattress Recycling Program to Begin May 1

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
• 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

CalRecycle Issues Proposed Regulations for the Used Mattress Recovery & Recycling Program

CalRecycle has issued Proposed Regulations for the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Program and began a 45-day comment period on the regulations that closes on February 11, 2015. A Public Hearing will be held on the proposed regulations on February 11, 2015 at CalRecycle. Further information may be found here http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Laws/Rulemaking/Mattresses/default.htm.