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.

Preparing for CalReycle Inspections

Attention all California mattress retailers, manufacturers and renovators – be prepared for your unannounced inspections from CalRecycle, the state agency with regulatory oversight for MRC’s California program.

Why am I Being Inspected?

CalRecycle provides inspections and enforcement provisions under the mattress recycling law. Its staff conduct inspections to enforce a level playing field and to verify that all parties are in compliance with the law.

Inspection Focus Areas

Inspections are conducted randomly throughout California. During an inspection, you will be asked to show proof of registration with MRC, proof of fee collection, awareness of manufacturer/brand compliance and website brand monitoring, and that you are offering no-cost used mattress take back when delivering new mattresses.

Consult’s Account Guidelines for how to retrieve requested information or contact

After The Inspection

After the inspection, CalRecycle will send a follow-up report. If any violations are found, they can impose penalties of up to $5,000 per day.

Contact the CalRecycle enforcement team

San Jose Uses MRC’s California Initiative to Fund RAPID Response to Illegal Dumping

Several years ago, the City of San Jose enlisted a consultant to help them understand the extent of illegal dumping throughout their communities. After finding substantial increases in the number of incidents and amount of material, the Environmental Services Department created the RAPID (Removing and Preventing Illegal Dumping) team. San Jose uses the payments received through MRC’s California Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative to partially fund it. This enables RAPID to focus on completing clean up assignments and implementing preventative measures. Between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, RAPID cleaned over 14,000 illegal dump sites in San Jose.

RAPID was created in July 2016 with four team members, and four more people were added to the crew in July 2017. RAPID consolidates illegal dumping information received by other City departments and streamlines how residents inform the City of an incident. Prior to its implementation, each department responded independently. This made reporting illegal dumping confusing for residents. Now there is a unified response – call, go online, or use the My San Jose app.

Joining Mattress Recycling Council’s Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative came naturally, since the City’s Environmental Services Department already collects illegal dumping data. Through their participation in MRC’s initiative, they can partially fund the RAPID team.

“Being part of this program has helped San Jose because mattresses are being recycled and the compensation goes back to those who are out there cleaning up our community,” said Anna Szabo, Enforcement & Regulations Supervisor with San Jose’s Integrated Waste Management Division.

Anna and her team collect critical data such as the type of debris, where it was dumped, when an assignment was received and when it was completed in a database. This has helped the City to identify illegal dumping hot spots and proactively monitor them, and develop new outreach tactics. It also makes reporting their mattress data to MRC simple. A spreadsheet is copied and pasted each month, and in 2017 San Jose reported over 4,300 illegally dumped mattresses to the MRC.

“I would encourage other jurisdictions to track as much data as possible, since it can be used to inform program and outreach decisions,” said Anna.

If you would like to join California’s Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative, contact Mark Patti.


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.

MRC Marks Millionth Mattress Milestone

The Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program announced that it has recycled its one millionth mattress. This means that Bye Bye Mattress has diverted nearly 25,000 tons of materials from landfills in the three states that MRC serves – California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Each state enacted its own mattress recycling law to reduce the number of mattresses sent to landfills, combat illegal mattress dumping, and increase recycling rates.

The mattresses are collected from more than 300 collection sites, which allows the public to drop-off old mattresses and box springs for recycling at no cost. Now that consumers have a new option to recycle, Bye Bye Mattress has saved more than 11 million cubic feet of landfill space.

“During the initial year of its program, Bye Bye Mattress has significantly increased mattress recycling for communities across the states served. Having surpassed one-million units shows that the mattress industry has created a practical solution that is showing real promise,” said Ryan Trainer, President of the Mattress Recycling Council. “It is a major milestone, but is also just the beginning. We are still committed to making mattress collection and recycling in these states easier and more efficient for everyone.”

Bye Bye Mattress debuted in Connecticut in May 2015, California in December 2015 and Rhode Island in May of 2016. Each state program is funded through a small recycling fee that is collected when mattresses and box springs are sold. The fee is used to operate the program in each state by providing containers for collection sites and transportation of mattresses to contracted recyclers for deconstruction.

Throughout the three participating states, 11 recycling facilities process mattresses on behalf of the program. They deconstruct the unit, separating it into general components – steel, foam, fibers and wood. The materials are then prepared for sale to scrap dealers or other end markets. MRC expects Bye Bye Mattress to recycle another million units or more in 2017. The increased volume is creating jobs and driving innovation.

In California and Connecticut, non-profit organizations like Goodwill of Silicon Valley, DR3 and Park City Green use mattress recycling as the basis for a jobs training program to help veterans, ex-offenders, the homeless and others who have trouble finding work. For example, Skylar Richardson of San Jose stepped foot into Goodwill’s mattress recycling facility determined to rebuild his life after struggling with addiction. He moved from dismantling and bailing mattresses to logistical responsibilities and managing a crew of 14 people.

“I’m focused on improving my supervisory skills and leading the department helps me with that,” said Richardson.

In the past year, more than 200 other people like Richardson have relied on these organizations to learn job skills and secure employment. While these non-profits were successfully recycling mattresses and training job seekers before Bye Bye Mattress began, the program has increased the volume of mattresses recycled and the number of people benefiting from their services.

“As Bye Bye Mattress’ collection network expands to serve more and more municipalities and institutions such as universities and hospitals, retailers, and hotels, we will continue to build our capacity, which we hope to increase significantly over the next two years,” said Adrienne Farrar Houël, President and CEO of the Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises, which founded and operates Park City Green in Bridgeport, Conn.

Meanwhile, for other recyclers contracted to recycle on behalf of the program, the increased mattress volume has driven their companies to expand or innovate the mattress deconstruction process. This has resulted in hiring more highly skilled workers and entry-level jobs in transportation, logistics, deconstruction and administration.

For more information on the Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program, please visit

Connecticut Program’s Annual Report Released – 150,000 Mattresses Diverted From Landfill

Last week, the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) presented its inaugural Annual Report of the Connecticut Bye Bye Mattress Program to Connecticut municipal leaders and state regulators. The report summarized the Program’s performance from its inception in May 2015 through the end of the state’s 2016 fiscal year (June 30).

The Program has already exceeded, met or is on pace to achieve nearly all benchmarks set in its plan, which was approved by the state in 2014. Highlights of the Program’s initial success in Connecticut include:

  • Recycled 150,000 mattresses. If these mattresses were laid end to end, they would span the state of Connecticut and then some – that’s more than 100 miles!
  • Recovered more than 2,800 tons of steel, foam and other materials that will be made into new useful products. That’s equivalent to 400 elephants.
  • Expanded the collection network to 101 free drop-off sites. More than 2.3 million residents across Connecticut have easy access to the Bye Bye Mattress collection site network.

“We are pleased with the Program’s productive start and will continue to work with city leaders, businesses and the state to improve the Program, expand the number of communities served, and increase the volume of mattresses recycled,” said Ryan Trainer, President of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association.

Industry-led recycling programs like Bye Bye Mattress will play an important part in helping Connecticut reach its goal to divert 60 percent of materials from disposal by 2024.

“We applaud the mattress industry for developing a successful statewide program under the mattress stewardship law that has already recycled thousands of mattresses in an environmentally sound manner,” said Robert Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.  “This program has created jobs, recovered vast quantities of resources to be reused, saved municipalities $1.5 million in disposal costs and given residents an easy way to recycle a cumbersome item.”

Bye Bye Mattress allows Connecticut residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites, collection events and recycling facilities free of charge. This collection network is made possible by the $9 recycling fee that Connecticut consumers pay when they buy a new mattress or box spring. The fee provides for collection containers, transporting the discarded mattresses and recycling costs. Connecticut residents can find their nearest participating collection site, collection event or recycling facility at

MRC is also working with more than 130 other public and private entities, including mattress retailers, hotels, military bases, universities and healthcare facilities in Connecticut to divert their discarded mattresses from the solid waste stream.

In addition to its Connecticut program, MRC operates Bye Bye Mattress in California and Rhode Island. To learn more, visit

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