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/

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 www.ByeByeMattress.com.

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 www.ByeByeMattress.com.

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 www.ByeByeMattress.com.

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 www.byebyemattress.com 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 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 https://connect.re-trac.com/registration/mrc-idp, or contact Mark Patti at mpatti@mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.

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.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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 www.byebyemattress.com 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 www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.

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 www.sleepproducts.org or contact info@sleepproducts.org.

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.

Press Conference Held Today to Launch Bye Bye Mattress

Sacramento, CA – Today, government officials, municipal and solid waste representatives and the mattress industry gathered at the state Capitol building to commemorate the launch of the state’s new mattress recycling program. “For too long, abandoned mattresses have blighted our communities,” said Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Oakland, author of the measure that created California’s mattress-recycling program. “Californians have justifiably always taken pride in our efforts to increasingly reuse and recycle our waste. With this new recycling opportunity, California is taking another step toward zero waste and giving our people another way to improve both their neighborhood quality of life and the environment of our planet. This is what government does when we work together.”

As of December 30th, California became the second state in the nation with a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program, known as Bye Bye Mattress, allows California residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites and recycling facilities for free. The program diverts old mattresses from waste to recycling so California landfills will be less crowded as old mattresses are recycled into new, useful products. Residents can find their nearest participating collection site or recycling facility at www.byebyemattress.com.

The event included remarks from Sen. Hancock as well as:

– Ryan Trainer, President of the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC)

– Mark Murray, Californians Against Waste

– Richard Diamonstein, Paramount Sleep and MRC Chairman

Guests were also informed on how a mattress is deconstructed and recycled and there were samples of raw materials to touch and feel—cotton, coconut husk, urethane foam, memory foam, mattress topper, felt, metal springs and wood.

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 an $11 recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold to California 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—ultimately making recycling easier for California residents.

STATEWIDE MATTRESS RECYCLING PROGRAM DEBUTS IN CALIFORNIA

Allows In-State Retailers No-Cost Drop-Off at Participating Recycling Facilities

Alexandria, VA – Today, California’s Mattress Stewardship Plan will take effect, making it the second state in the nation to launch a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program 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.

The law resulted from the International Sleep Products Association’s (ISPA) efforts to develop a practical and economically efficient approach to mattress recycling. Since the law was passed in 2013, MRC has worked to develop a mattress disposal solution for municipalities, mattress retailers, hotels, military facilities, universities, healthcare facilities and others throughout the state. California retailers may also make arrangements with MRC for no-cost drop-off of used mattresses and box springs at an MRC contracted recycling facility.

“The mattress industry has been focused on mattress recycling for over 20 years,” said Ryan Trainer, president of ISPA and MRC. “Through MRC, the industry has taken a positive step to protect the environment and bring all stakeholders together to create a cost-effective solution for a long-term problem.”

The program is funded through an $11 recycling fee that is collected when a new, used or renovated mattress or box spring is sold to California consumers. Consumers will notice this fee as a separate line item on their receipt. Retailers and other businesses selling mattresses will collect and remit the fees to MRC each month through a convenient online payment portal.  The fees will be used to pay service providers that will transport and recycle the discarded mattresses.

The program is expected to discourage consumers from illegally dumping their used mattress by providing no-cost recycling at solid waste disposal facilities throughout the state.  With the number of recycled mattresses increasing, MRC will also support market development for the reclaimed steel, foam, wood and fiber.

A similar recycling program was launched in Connecticut in May of 2015. To learn more about MRC’s programs visit www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.

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.

ISPA provides a wide range of services that benefit its membership. These include exclusive industry surveys and statistics, advocacy support, educational offerings, the industry’s ISPA EXPO trade show, safety research through its Sleep Products Safety Council, consumer research and education through its Better Sleep Council, BedTimes and Sleep Savvy publications, and more.

To learn more, visit www.sleepproducts.org or contact info@sleepproducts.org

MRC Welcomes Three New Staff Members

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) has hired Fendi Nixon as its Accounts Payable Specialist.  Fendi will be working closely with Catherine Lyons as MRC launches California in 2016.  Fendi began her career in the Accounting field at Maryland Live Casino as a Revenue Auditor.  Shortly thereafter, she graduated from Coppin State University with a bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

After graduating, Fendi continued to work in the Accounting field.  She was hired as an Accounts Payable Specialist for Macfadden & Associates as a government contractor.  She also worked as a Tax Professional at H & R Block during the 2014 tax year.  Fendi’s passion for accounting is undeniable.  She is a candidate for the CPA and is looking to sit for the exam sometime in 2016.

In her spare time she enjoys comedy and cars.

MRC welcomes Erin Bowers as its Marketing Specialist.  Erin will be assisting Amanda Wall, MRC’s Marketing & Communication’s Coordinator.  She will take on multiple assignments within the Marketing & Communications department.

Erin began her career within the Communications field as a Program and Development Intern for MTV’s first bilingual network, MTV Tr3s.  After graduating in 2013 for the University of Florida with a of Bachelor of Arts degree in English (Film and Media Studies) she worked as a Marketing Coordinator for a small insurance firm.  From there, Erin went on to work at UA Brands as a Corporate Account Coordinator.  She took on many customer service and large scale account coordination for large Fortune 500 Companies.  A recent DC metro transplant Erin most recently worked for Red Top Cab Arlington as the Marketing Assistant where she developed social media and ads for Red Top’s new app.

In her spare time Erin enjoys watching her Florida Gators, spending time with her boyfriend, family & friends, and volunteering for several non-profit causes.

In addition the MRC has hired Paris Gholston as its Customer Service Specialist & Retailer Liaison.  Paris will be assisting Amanda Wall, MRC’s Marketing & Communication’s Coordinator and our Managing Director, Mike O’Donnell. She will take on multiple assignments within the Customer Service & Marketing/Communications department of the MRC.

Paris relocated to DC after graduating in 2014 from the University of Tennessee.  She received a Master’s of Science degree in Sports Management.  Prior to coming on board at the MRC, Paris was a Marketing Intern within American University’s Athletic Department.  After her internship she went on to work at Washington Sports Club as an Assistant Program Manager for the club’s Kids Division.  While there Paris coordinated many children and adult sports programs as well as handled much of the customer service and marketing tasks.

MRC is glad to welcome Erin, Fendi, and Paris.