Bye Bye Mattress is Working for California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – More than 4 million mattresses have been recycled in California by the Bye Bye Mattress program since it began in 2016, according to the recently released 2018 Annual Report from the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC). “The continued growth of the Bye Bye Mattress program demonstrates California is still a global leader in waste reduction at a time when the recycling industry is facing significant challenges,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell.

Key to that success is MRC’s ongoing efforts to increase program accessibility for all Californians, no matter where they live in the state. In 2018 alone, MRC reported more than 1.4 million mattresses were recycled, an increase of 11 percent from the year before. In addition, more than 80 percent of mattresses discarded in California are now being diverted from landfills, where they would otherwise take up valuable and limited space.

“Easy access to the Bye Bye Mattress recycling network is vital to program participation,” said O’Donnell. “We accomplish this through innovative collaborations with mattress retailers, solid waste facilities and curbside collection programs. We also have non-profit partners, including the California Conservation Corps, Goodwill Industries and Habitat for Humanity.”

MRC increased the number of no-cost permanent collection sites from 163 to 190 across the state in 2018. Bulky item collection programs grew from nine to 40 and collection events increased from 74 to 97. Today, all of California’s 58 counties have access to mattress recycling services.

In addition, MRC’s digital mapping analysis shows that 93 percent of Californians live within 15 miles of the program’s collection network. Even in rural counties, access was measured at 79 percent. This accessibility is even greater when including mattress retailers that are required by law to offer to take back old mattresses during new product delivery.

“We are raising awareness among Californians that mattresses are recyclable and that no-cost recycling options exist throughout the state,” said O’Donnell. “Recycling mattresses keeps them out of landfills and off of our streets, alleys and other public spaces that are often targets of illegal dumping.”

MRC helps combat illegal dumping by participating in local and state task forces as well as through the Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative. This program collects data on illegally dumped mattresses and uses these statistics to target affected communities. Each year, $1 million is budgeted to fund clean-up activities.

“We are proud of the success of the California mattress recycling program,” continued O’Donnell. “Through MRC, the mattress industry has demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship, fostering sustainability and a greener future.”

About Mattress Recycling Council and Bye Bye Mattress

The Mattress Recycling Council was formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs (known as Bye Bye Mattress) in states which have enacted mattress recycling laws – California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Since its inception in 2016, the program has recycled more than 4 million mattresses in California through a network of partnerships with local governments, solid waste facilities, non-profit organizations and small and minority-owned businesses throughout the state. For more information, go to www.ByeByeMattress.com

Notice of Legal Changes to California Program

On October 10, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed into law AB 187 that amends California’s Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act (SB 254). The amendments include the following important changes to the legal obligations of mattress manufacturers, distributors and retailers:

Effective January 1, 2020:

Futons have been added to California’s definition of “mattress.” For these purposes, a futon must meet the general definition of a mattress, which the law defines as “a resilient material or combination of materials that is enclosed by a ticking, is used alone or in combination with other products, and is intended for or promoted for sleeping upon.” The fee and recycling obligations apply only to the futon mattress. They do not apply to the futon frame or base. These changes only affect Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) program participants in California. Futons are not included in MRC’s Connecticut or Rhode Island programs.

This change means that:

  • Manufacturers and retailers of futons that are registered with MRC must update their company profiles at MRCreporting.org if they manufacture or sell futons to any California end users.
  • Manufacturers of futons that are not registered with MRC but that manufacture or sell futons to California end users must register their brands and URNs at MRCreporting.org.
  • Retailers that are not registered with MRC but sell futons to California end users must register at MRCreporting.org.
  • Retailers must collect a recycling fee of $10.50 on each futon sold on or after January 1, 2020 to any end user in California. Retailers must remit the collected fees to MRC monthly.
  • Futons will be accepted at MRC recyclers as part of the California program beginning January 1, 2020.

Effective March 1, 2020:

Parties that distribute mattresses to retailers or other sellers that will ultimately be sold to California end users on or after March 1, 2020 must register with MRCreporting.org as a “distributor” or update their existing profile to include this information.

Effective January 1, 2021:

Under SB 254, a California retailer that delivers a new mattress to a consumer must offer to pick up a used mattress at the time of delivery at no additional cost to the consumer. This requirement does not apply if

(a) the used mattress to be picked up is contaminated and poses a risk to personnel, new products, or equipment; or (b) the new mattress was purchased online and delivered by common carrier.

 

AB 187 eliminates the exception for mattresses delivered by common carrier. This means that a party that sells mattresses to end users in California on or after January 1, 2021 and delivers them by common carrier must offer to pick up a used mattress for recycling from that consumer at no additional charge within 30 days of the delivery of the new mattress (unless the used mattress is contaminated and poses a risk to personnel, new products, or equipment).

 

To register or update your registration, visit MRCreporting.org. For more information, contact MRC at info@mattressrecyclingcouncil.org or 1-855-229-1691.

Latest Rhode Island Report Highlights Boost in Mattress Recycling Across the State

The Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress Rhode Island program collected nearly 104,000 mattresses and diverted over 1,600 tons of material from the central landfill during its most recent reporting period. These numbers either meet or exceed projected collection goals in the state, according to the Mattress Recycling Council’s 2018-19 Rhode Island Annual Report. The report was submitted to the Rhode Island Resource Recovery Corporation on October 1. A complete copy can be found here.

“We are proud of the continued success of MRC’s Bye Bye Mattress program in Rhode Island and the resulting positive environmental impact for the state and its residents,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell.

Highlights of the report show that MRC and its Bye Bye Mattress program:

  • Collected 103,807 mattresses and recycled 1,607 tons of material
  • Provided program access in 37 of 39 Rhode Island municipalities and extended service to over 140 other entities and small bulky waste haulers
  • Retained participation by 88 percent of Rhode Island’s solid waste service providers exceeding the goal by 8 percent
  • Continued education and outreach efforts through in-store public education materials, a public service campaign, media relations and social media to keep Rhode Islanders aware of mattress recycling and how to access the program in the state.

Connecticut Program Performance Remains Strong

The Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress Connecticut program collected more than 184,000 mattresses and diverted nearly 3,000 tons of material from the waste stream during its most recent reporting period. The program also met or exceeded performance goals related to municipal, retail, healthcare and educational facility participation according to the Mattress Recycling Council’s 2018-19 Connecticut Annual Report. The report was submitted to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection on October 15. A complete copy can be found here.

“We are proud of the positive impact that MRC’s Bye Bye Mattress program has made in Connecticut. As the state where the mattress industry first pioneered the program, we are pleased to see a steady track record of continual success and meaningful improvement,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell.

Highlights of the report show that MRC and its Bye Bye Mattress program:

  • Collected 184,190 mattresses and recycled 2,963 tons of material in the reporting period, which brings the program’s running total to more than 680,000 mattresses collected and 11,000 tons of material recycled since May 2015.
  • Expanded the program to 139 collection locations throughout the state. This includes 136 municipalities that have access to no-cost collection sites or events at their local transfer station or public works yard and three additional sites that accept mattresses from any resident in the state.
  • Increased participation from businesses and organizations with large amounts of discarded mattresses to recycle. MRC now works with 239 of these public and private entities including mattress retailers, hotels, universities and junk haulers.
  • Promoted the use of the Stop Illegal Dumping public service announcement which garnered more than 500 airings from Connecticut media and offered cities and towns the ability to request co-branded video spots for use in their own communication channels (websites, social media, presentations, etc.).

Mattresses collected through the program are deconstructed. The steel, foam, fiber and wood become new products such as carpet padding, insulation or mulch. With the program’s collection network maturing, MRC plans to further research new end markets for recycled mattress materials.

MRC Awards Research Contract to Knoble Design to Develop Innovative Process for Recycling Pocket Coils

Pocket coils are one of the most challenging components to process in mattress recycling operations. Pocket coils (also known as Marshall Coils) are a common construction type for inner spring mattresses because they isolate the transfer of movement to individual coils.  About 20% of all discarded mattresses contain pocket coils which contain between 250 and 1,000 individual spring coils. These metal coils are individually encapsulated in either polypropylene or woven cotton fabric.

When a mattress is deconstructed, the pocket coil layer is easily separated from other components. However, it is impractical to manually separate the individual coils from their sleeves. Since most metal recyclers will not tolerate fabric contamination, the pocket coil units are often sent to landfills. Successful implementation of an alternative solution for separating pocket coil metal from fabric would significantly improve overall mattress recycling rates and create added revenue for recyclers.

In response to a request for proposals, Knoble Design, a Wisconsin-based custom engineering company, conceived a novel process which would quickly, affordably and efficiently separate the springs from their pockets without destroying either component. In their research, Knoble Design will design, test and optimize individual components of the process. If successful in meeting the design criteria, they will proceed to develop a pilot scale demonstration device.

The project is already underway and should be completed in early 2020. At that time, MRC and Knoble Design will determine if there is a good business case to develop a commercial scale machine.

For more information about MRC’s research efforts, visit www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org/research.  

MRC Awards Lean Manufacturing Assessment Contract to MWS & Associates

As MRC continues to expand, we are looking to increase the efficiency of our recyclers and provide means to improve throughput and recycling rates. MRC contracted with MWS & Associates to provide on-site Lean Manufacturing assessments of its network of California recycling facilities.  Lean is a methodology that helps facilities systematically eliminate waste, achieve higher work quality, improve safety and worker morale, reduce costs, shorten lead times and increase both customer satisfaction and profitability.

The MWS team is led by Dr. Maria Williams-Slaughter (Principal/Owner). She has over 20 years of experience in continuous improvement. Her team has extensive experience in applying lean tools and techniques to a wide range of processes in a variety of industries and organizations, leading to significant improvements in service delivery, cost savings, customer service and cultural transformations.

MWS conducted recycling facilities assessments at 11 mattress deconstruction facilities throughout California. In October 2019, each recycler will receive a customized, confidential report summarizing findings. A nonconfidential public report summarizing overall findings and lessons learned will follow.

Through these assessments, MRC hopes our recyclers will become more informed about their recycling processes, identify opportunities to improve productivity and gain insights to inform future investments.

For more information about MRC’s research efforts, visit www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org/research.

Mattress Recycling Council Promotes New No-Cost Sustainability Certification Program to California Mattress Manufacturers

Sleep Products Sustainability Program (SP2) Offers Manufacturers Training and Tools to Reduce Waste, Cut Energy Consumption and Lower Spending

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) has launched the Sleep Products Sustainability Program (SP2), a new environmental certification and sustainability initiative for mattress manufacturers in the state of California. SP2 training and certification is offered at no cost to mattress manufacturers that want to improve operations at their manufacturing plants, distribution centers, warehouses and/or offices. 

“SP2 is designed to reduce waste and energy consumption in the manufacturing process while increasing operational efficiencies and generating cost savings,” says Ryan Trainer, president of the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) and the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA). “Developed as part of the bedding industry’s commitment to environmental stewardship, this voluntary program supports ongoing sustainability efforts.” 

SP2 offers individual mattress manufacturers training to conduct an in-depth analysis to identify ways to reduce environmental impacts, establish best practices and set metrics to track progress by examining: 

  • The nature and designs of the products they manufacture
  • The raw materials they manage and consume in manufacturing and distributing those products
  • The energy, water and other resources needed in the manufacturing and distribution processes
  • Management and minimization of waste products generated at each stage in the manufacturing and distribution processes
  • How the products they manufacture today are managed at the end of their useful lives by recyclers

“This comprehensive approach will help participating manufacturers review, revise and improve their operations for better environmental performance,” says Justine Fallon, MRC’s director of operations. “The main goal is to help individual companies create voluntary proactive environmental management systems that can produce continual improvements over time.” 

Although initially available only to California mattress producers, MRC may expand the program to suppliers and retailers in that state and eventually to companies in other states that serve the California market, and perhaps elsewhere. Pleasant Mattress, based in Fresno, California, was the first manufacturer to undergo the training, and MRC expects two or three others to complete the training by the end of the year. 

“MRC encourages California mattress manufacturers to participate in this voluntary program to take advantage of the benefits it provides both to them and to the environment,” says Fallon. “Upon successful completion of the program, participants will earn an SP2 facility certification which they can promote to their customers, demonstrating their commitment to sustainability.” 

For additional information about the goals and benefits of SP2 and participation in this no-cost opportunity, California mattress manufacturers can visit www.MattressRecyclingCouncil.org/SP2 or contact Michael LaRussa, MRC program coordinator at 916-591-2540 or mlarussa@mattressrecyclingcouncil.org. 

About the Mattress Recycling Council 

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development and implementation of statewide mattress recycling programs for states that have enacted laws. The organization provides valuable information and resources for industry professionals. As a result, every mattress contributes to a cleaner, more positive future.

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 mattressrecyclingcouncil.org/research/

Rhode Island Mattress Recycling Transportation

REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS DUE 2/5/2019

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) is requesting proposals for transportation services in Rhode Island. This Request for Proposals (RFP) evaluates the costs and capabilities of transportation companies to help MRC comply with Rhode Island General Law 23-90, which requires mattress manufacturers to create a statewide recycling program for discarded mattresses. RFP submittals are due by February 7, 2019 . Two documents are attached:

1. RFP specification (pdf)
2. RFP forms 1-4 in Microsoft Word to simplify and standardize responses

Additional information can be found at MRC’s two web-sites; mattressrecyclingcouncil.org and ByeByeMattress.com. RFP questions must be submitted in writing to my attention by January 24, 2019.

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.”