Chemical Recycling Research Contract Awarded by MRC

MRC has awarded a research contract to Pittsburg State University’s Kansas Polymer Research Center. Under the direction of Professor Ram Gupta, the Research Center will chemically modify and evaluate a variety of recycled mattress materials including polyurethane foam, polyester, cotton and coconut fiber to determine if they are suitable for use as battery and supercapacitor components.  

“While this is early stage research, MRC is very interested to learn if upcycled mattress materials can be reconstituted into promising, sustainable end-use applications,” said MRC Managing Director Mike O’Donnell.  

The main components of a battery (or a supercapacitor) are anodes, cathodes and electrolytes. The most common anode materials are carbon, graphene and carbon nanotubes.  The Research Center has already successfully converted waste materials such as coffee powders, cotton cloths, used tea leaves, jute, orange peels, bamboo fibers and corn grain distiller for the production of high-quality carbon for energy storage devices. 

Energy storage is one of the fastest-growing industries. Recent technological advances, particularly with electrode technologies, have yielded safe, high power, rechargeable, long lasting devices. These in turn have enabled growth in the electric vehicle and portable electronic device industries. Low cost energy storage has also enabled more widespread use of renewable energy technologies including solar and wind.  

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

End Use Research Contract for Shoddy Awarded by MRC

MRC is pleased to announce a contract has been awarded to GHD, Inc. to research potential end uses for shoddy felt recovered in the mattress recycling process. GHD will explore the applicability of using shoddy in stormwater and erosion control products in civil engineering applications.

“Shoddy felt is a protective compressed fiber mat between mattress springs and foam layers that is very difficult to recycle and is usually landfilled,” according to MRC Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “Through this and other MRC-funded research initiatives, our goal is to keep more material out of landfills by remaking them into usable products.”

The contract is part of MRC’s annual $1 million research fund to improve the recyclability of discarded mattresses and build new markets for recycled mattress materials.

GHD is a respected global professional services company operating in water, energy and resources, environment, property and buildings, and transportation market sectors. GHD will partner with Humboldt State University to test shoddy physical properties and develop recommendations regarding the most promising potential uses. They will also outline the next steps required to bring the potential new products to market.

For more information about MRC’s research efforts, visit

MRC Teams Up With Group 50 Consulting for Transportation Feasibility Study

MRC and Group 50, a consulting firm with global supply chain expertise, have announced a 16-week project to examine the costs and processes involved with transporting mattresses for recycling. Transportation currently accounts for up to 20% of MRC’s operational costs. MRC is excited about this partnership and finding efficiencies that would offer significant value to the overall success of the mattress recycling program.

For more information about MRC’s research efforts, visit

Mattress Recycling Council Awards Nearly $200,000 in Grants to California Mattress Collection Sites

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), which operates the Bye Bye Mattress program in California, recently awarded $192,000 in grant funding to 24 mattress collection sites throughout the state. The funds will be used for infrastructure improvements or equipment purchases 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.

“Providing these grants is just one of the ways we continue to work with the more than 200 mattress collection sites throughout California to increase productivity and divert as much material as possible from state landfills,” said Mike O’Donnell, managing director of MRC. “The program serves as a global model for successful mattress recycling and we want to continue that leadership.”

This is the second round of MRC grants to mattress collection sites, with both the number of applicants and awards doubling since Cycle 1. Approved Cycle 2 grant projects include the construction of weather coverings and cement pads to protect mattress integrity, mobile loading ramps to help with transportation and storage and forklift attachments to help with storage and loading.

Cycle 2 grant awardees include:

  • Billy Wright Landfill (Merced County)
  • Bowerman Landfill (Orange County)
  • City of Berkeley (Alameda County)
  • City of Exeter (Tulare County)
  • City of Oakland (Alameda County)
  • Conservation Corps of the North Bay (Marin County)
  • Foothill Sanitary Landfill (San Joaquin County)
  • Fresno Comfort Sleep (Fresno County)
  • Goodwill of Silicon Valley (Santa Clara County)
  • Habitat East Bay/Silicon Valley (Alameda County)
  • Highway 59 Landfill (Merced County)
  • Holdoff’s Recycling (Modoc County)
  • Kings Waste Recycling Authority (Kings County)
  • Lovelace Transfer Station (San Joaquin County)
  • Mendocino Solid Waste Management Authority (Mendocino County)
  • Neal Road Transfer Station (Butte County)
  • Nortech/Western Placer Waste Management Authority (Placer County)
  • North County Recycling and Landfill (San Joaquin County)
  • Olinda Landfill (Orange County)
  • Peñas Disposal (Tulare County)
  • Prima Deshecha Landfill (Orange County)
  • Urban Corps of San Diego County (San Diego County)
  • West Coast Resource Recovery (Contra Costa County)
  • The Wilkerson Company (Solano County)

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

Mattress Recycling Council Announces 2020 Board of Directors

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) announces its 2020 Board of Directors:

  • Doug Guffey (Board Chair), Strategic Accounts Manager, Serta Simmons Bedding LLC
  • Richard Diamonstein, Managing Director, Paramount Sleep
  • Mason Hallet, Vice President of Sales, North America, Tricots-Liesse Knitting
  • Sabrina Hernandez, Specialty Account Representative, William T. Burnett & Co.
  • Mark S. Jones, President and CEO, HSM
  • Al Klancnik (Ex-Officio Board Member)
  • Jon Larson, President of Sound Sleep Products
  • William Moore, Director of Sales Operations, Jones Fiber Products, Inc.
  • Don Pflug, Executive Vice President of Operations, Southerland, Inc.
  • Ron Richmond, Vice President of Taxation, Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC
  • Shana Rocheleau, Vice President of Strategy, BedGear
  • David Spencer, Director of Warehouse Operations, Mattress Firm
  • Patrique Vielle, Senior Indirect Sourcing Program Manager, Tempur Sealy International, Inc.
  • Catherine Lyons, Chief Financial Officer, International Sleep Products Association (ISPA)
  • Ryan Trainer, President of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA)


“We are grateful to these industry veterans for generously sharing their time and expertise as members of MRC’s Board of Directors,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and ISPA. “With the benefit of their combined expertise and input, MRC has established itself as a leader in mattress recycling.”

Former Local Conservation Corps Lead Joins MRC as Central Program Coordinator

Jennifer Duran has joined MRC as Central California Program Coordinator. Duran is the new primary point of contact for collection sites and recycling participants in Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Fresno, Inyo, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Tulare and Tuolumne counties. She is also responsible for a variety of program tasks including working with recyclers and haulers, expanding the mattress recycling collection network and conducting public outreach and education about mattress recycling.

Prior to joining MRC, Duran spent nine years with the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission’s (EOC) Local Conservation Corps where she managed and oversaw daily recycling operations, developed local partnerships to expand the recycling program and conducted public education about the program and agency.

“Jennifer has close to a decade of proven success in operating efficient recycling programs, building diverse partnerships and raising consumer awareness in the Central Valley,” said Mike O’Donnell, managing director of MRC. “We are pleased to have her join our team and lead the expansion of the Bye Bye Mattress program in the region.”

Duran is MRC’s fifth regional coordinator in California, where the Bye Bye Mattress program recycles more than 1 million mattresses a year. No-cost recycling options for residents are offered in all 58 California counties.

Innovative Proposals Sought for End-Use Mattress Components

Mattress Recycling Council Announces an Open Call for Creative Ideas to Improve and Expand Recycling  

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) is seeking innovative proposals to make recycling more efficient and create new or better uses for hard-to-recycle mattress components. The initiative is part of MRC’s $1 million annual research fund to improve how discarded mattresses and box springs are recycled and identify new markets for reclaimed mattress materials.

“The number of used mattresses dismantled by MRC recyclers and the amount of steel, foam and other materials reclaimed is steadily growing each year. To sustain future growth, it is vital that we help identify new economically viable uses for those materials,” explained Ryan Trainer, president of MRC. “To help solve this challenge, MRC welcomes ideas and proposals from potential innovators, including manufacturers of the original components, who may hold the key to identifying new and better uses for reclaimed materials.”

MRC is funding a series of innovative research projects to kickstart new markets for the following materials: polyurethane foam, memory foam, latex foam, quilt panels (the top layer of a mattress), shoddy pads (mixed fiber insulating felt layer), various types of fiber batting and pocketed springs.

“MRC anticipates entering into multiple research projects over the next several years that support our recycling objectives.  Up to $100,000 per project is available, but MRC will consider increasing that contribution for innovations that show special potential,” according to Mike Gallagher, MRC’s research consultant leading the process.  “MRC is most interested in ideas that show technical merit and feasibility, along with the best potential for commercial use in achieving the targeted use of the recycled material.”

MRC encourages interested parties to briefly describe their ideas using an online application form before submitting a full proposal for review and potential funding. Proposals will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

More information including details regarding project requirements and eligibility is available at

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) is a non-profit organization formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs (known as Bye Bye Mattress) in states that have enacted mattress recycling laws – California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. MRC recycles more than 1.5 million mattresses a year, diverting 52 million pounds of useful material from the waste stream. Learn more at

CONTACT: Lori Barnes
(571) 255-6927

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

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 of futons that are registered with MRC must update their company profiles at 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
  • Retailers that are not registered with MRC but sell futons to California end users must register at
  • 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 report and 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 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 For more information, contact MRC at 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.