December 2020 Highlights

THANK YOU For Your Work During this Challenging Year, Looking Ahead to 2021

This has been a year like no other and we would like to take this opportunity to recognize our program participants, recyclers, partners and stakeholders. “Despite the challenges of the pandemic, rolling closures, shelter in place orders and massive shifts in the way we live and work, you have adapted and persevered,” said Mike O’Donnell, MRC’s managing director. “It was a very difficult spring but we are closing the year strong.”

MRC has seen overall growth in collection volume, an increased recycling rate, expansion of our state programs and the development of new and improved resources to support participants and encourage mattress recycling. Thank you! We look forward to working with you in 2021.

MRC at ZERO Waste Conference

MRC was proud to participate in and sponsor the National Recycling Coalition Zero Waste Virtual Conference, Dec. 1-3, dedicated to education and best practices to achieve zero waste. MRC staff manned our virtual booth and answered questions about the benefits of mattress recycling.

Attendees from non-program states stopped by to learn more about how to implement mattress recycling programs and members of MRC’s California collection site network expressed satisfaction with the program. 
The conference offered both networking and educational opportunities, with MRC staff participating in webinars focusing on sustainability, climate change and the public policy outlook. “The conference was an informative, positive experience for MRC,” said Tyler Douthitt, MRC’s southern California program coordinator.

Retailer Outreach Initiative Wraps in Northeast and Launched in Calif.

MRC recently completed a Retailer Outreach Initiative for Connecticut. Nearly 300 registered retailers received our survey and were contacted by both phone and email. Survey results showed the overall majority is satisfied with the program and the many resources offered.

Throughout this process, MRC was able to confirm 100% of responding retailers were aware of the Connecticut fee increase effective January 1, 2021.  The Initiative also added new subscribers to our mailing list, updated account information and provided resources to answer customer questions about the fee. MRC had previously conducted outreach to the more than 200 Rhode Island registered retailers. We greatly value feedback from our retail community.

Now that Connecticut and Rhode Island outreach is complete, we have begun contacting all registered California retailers. Be on the lookout for the survey in your account holder’s inbox, followed by a phone call. Have your comments, questions and concerns ready. We look forward to connecting with retailers and providing an additional level of service to support the program. Retailers can access resources any time here.


Retailer Take Back FAQs and Resources

Starting Jan. 1, 2021 any retailer that delivers a new mattress to a California consumer must offer to pick up the consumer’s discarded mattress at no additional charge regardless of sale format or delivery method. This change was mandated by California AB 187 which expands existing pick up requirement to include deliveries made by common carrier that were previously exempt.

MRC has developed tools to assist with compliance including:

  • webinar, “California Mattress Recycling: What Retailers Need to Know”
  • Answers to frequently asked questions about the law and its enforcement developed in conjunction with the state regulatory agency, CalRecycle
  • list of third-party contractors and transporters that may be able to assist retailers with meeting the new pick up obligations
  • Retailers that collect at least 100 used mattresses or box springs can receive a permanent trailer and transportation for recycling through MRC’s Commercial Volume Program at no cost

“There has been a huge surge in interest in our Commercial Volume Program as a viable solution to the expanded take back requirement,” says Joy Broussard, MRC’s programs and logistics coordinator and the point of contact for the program. “Some retailers were already enrolled but now are expanding their participation to include their online entities. Others are brand new enrollees taking advantage of our no-cost options.”  MRC continues to provide support via phone and email to retailers with questions about the program update. Learn more on the retailer take back page of our website.

Growth In Local Conservation Corps Participation Continues

Among this year’s newest additions to MRC’s collection network in California are local conservation corps (LCCs) in Fresno, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Jose. With these additions, MRC now works with more than half of the state’s LCCs, giving area residents additional no-cost ways to recycle mattresses.

This partnership offers Corpsmembers the opportunity to learn critical job skills as they operate collection sites and collection events in their communities,” explained MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “This relationship is making a difference for the environment and changing lives.”

In 2021, three LCCs will pilot participating in our Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative, expanding data collection and improving MRC’s extensive efforts to combat this problem. Read our recent announcement to learn more.

Increased Incentive Offered for Rural Participation in Illegal Dumping Initiative

As a part of MRC’s goal to increase rural county participation in the Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative (IDMCI), MRC has increased the per unit payment to $20 for rural county participants. Counties that are identified as rural for the 2019 reporting year will be retroactively paid the $20 per unit rate.

MRC invests $1 million annually to fund the IDMCI which collect data on the location of illegally dumped mattresses from participating jurisdictions.  As a result, nearly 200,000 improperly disposed mattresses have been removed from alleys, sidewalks and other public spaces.

MRC will continue to encourage areas of the state not participating to join the effort to identify statewide illegal dumping hotspots. To join the IDMCI, email Taylor Grimes or click here for more information on MRC’s efforts to combat illegal dumping.

Sustainability Webinar held Dec. 16

On Dec. 16, MRC hosted a lunch and learn webinar about the Sleep Products Sustainability Program (SP2) and how it is helping California mattress manufacturers reduce waste while saving money and increasing efficiencies. This no-cost program guides participants on how to set, achieve and maintain sustainability objectives.

Virtual training and certification is now available. Upon completion of the program, participants earn an SP2 facility certification. View the webinar recording here. For additional information about SP2 or to sign up, click here or email Kate Caddy.

Contactless Collection Events a Success

Following protocols established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for the COVID-19 pandemic, many of MRC’s mattress collection events have become contactless. Updated signage, instructing residents to remain in their vehicle while event staff unload their mattresses for recycling, was sent free of charge to all California sites hosting contactless events.

MRC has co-hosted more than five contactless events since October with the help of our partner nonprofits and community organizations: Greater Valley Conservation Corp, North Bay Conservation Corps and Zero Waste Sonoma. Those events serviced more than 50 California cities, offering residents access to no-cost mattress recycling. MRC plans to continue contactless collection events in 2021.

MRC’s concern for the health and well-being of those using and operating the Bye Bye Mattress recycling program is our top priority. For more information related to the pandemic, please visit our COVID-19 page


CT Fee to Increase Effective  Jan. 1: Updated Point-of-Sale Materials Sent to Retailers

On Jan. 1, 2021 the Connecticut mattress recycling fee will increase from $9 to $11.75 per unit for all mattresses and foundations sold in Connecticut. This change represents the first increase in the mattress recycling fee since the program began in 2015 and is necessitated by increased labor and operational expenses. Read more here.

All retailers registered with MRC in Connecticut were mailed a package this month with updated storefront materials, program information and a guide to customer FAQs. Please be on the lookout for this package and update your point-of-sale materials accordingly. More information about MRC’s Connecticut program is available here.


Nearly $240,000 Awarded to California Municipalities to Fight Illegal Dumping

MRC is pleased to announce awards totaling $232,677 to three California jurisdictions to aid in combatting illegal mattress dumping. The awardees are:

  • City of San Jose: $99,225 to measure and quantify the success of surveillance and multilingual outreach campaigns at four multi-family dwelling sites.
  • City of Berkeley: $100,000 to implement a bulky item pickup service for all buildings between one and nine units, and an accompanying marketing campaign. Berkeley will also strengthen bulky item collection and marketing for local colleges and universities on move-out days.
  • City of Palmdale: $33,452 to conduct behavioral change and community research with the goal of implementing more targeted and robust campaigns to deter illegally dumped mattresses coming from multifamily housing. Palmdale will also launch a citywide campaign.

The cities selected are among the most adversely impacted by illegally dumped mattresses and were part of the first cycle of MRC funding for pilot studies to combat the issue. Projects are slated for completion at the end of 2021. Awardees estimate that their projects will decrease illegally dumped mattresses by more than 1,000 over the contract term.

MRC will also work with the City of Oakland to strengthen its mattress collection events within the City’s illegal dumping hot spots and with City of Clearlake to improve local outreach and costs for mattress recycling.

This effort is part of MRC’s annual $1 million investment to fund efforts to curb illegal dumping in California. In 2019, MRC held two California-based workshops to solicit stakeholders’ first-hand knowledge and ideas that would inform the new Funding for Illegally Dumped Mattress Pilot Studies program. Read the final report from the workshops here.

For more information about MRC’s efforts to combat illegal dumping, visit our website.

New Lean Project with MWS to Focus on Efficiency Improvements

In late 2019, MRC sponsored a program to conduct lean assessments of California mattress recycling facilities with the goal of identifying the potential improved process inefficiencies. Each facility received a customized report outlining the current state of operations and provided recommendations to improve efficiency and effectiveness going forward. Read the full summary report here.
Following up on this successful program, MRC will sponsor a series of Kaizen Events at recycling facilities interested in leveraging the insights gained in the initial assessments to bolster their process efficiencies. Kaizen Events are short duration projects (3-5 days) with a specific aim to develop, test and adopt process efficiency improvements. They focus on a single aspect of operations, led by an experienced facilitator, and supported by an innovative and engaged implementation team.
We are pleased to report that MWS & Associates has agreed to facilitate the Kaizen Events. The project will launch in January 2021 and is expected to conclude in by the end of March. “Continuous process efficiency improvement is a key component to establishing a robust and sustainable mattress recycling industry. We look forward to this next step in our journey,” explained Mike Gallagher, MRC research consultant. Learn more about MRC’s research efforts here.

Webinar Held to Spur University Interest in Research RFP

On Dec. 10, MRC sponsored a webinar, “Research Program and Funding Opportunities,” to drive interest in mattress recycling from the university research community.

Approximately 70 individual researchers from more than 30 institutions across the U.S. participated along with representatives from leading industrial manufacturers, chemical companies, public works facilities and research firms. “We are extremely pleased that this opportunity introduced MRC to wide audience of innovators that may be interested in partnering with us to advance mattress recycling,” said Mike O’Donnell, MRC’s managing director.

MRC is seeking creative proposals to demonstrate potential to use hard-to-recycle mattress components in new or reformulated applications and/or products. 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. View the webinar or learn more about the open RFP here.

New Collection Sites

Welcome City of Manteca

MRC welcomes the City of Manteca to the mattress recycling program! They also joined the MRC Illegal Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative. Visit their listing on the Bye Bye Mattress website for more information.   

City of Manteca
210 E. Wetmore Ave.
Manteca, Ca. 95337 
Mattresses are accepted from residents for recycling
Mon.-Fri., 6 am to 12:30 pm

Welcome The Mattress Guy

MRC would like to welcome The Mattress Guy to the mattress recycling program! They accept units from both residents and businesses. Visit their listing on the Bye Bye Mattress website for more information.

The Mattress Guy
1266 28th St.
Oakland, Ca. 94608 
Mattresses are accepted for recycling Tues.-Sat., 8:30 am to 6 pm.

Upcoming Events

Virtual COST Conference 
January 13, 2021

For Retailers

Customer Education Materials


For Collection Site & Event Hosts

Collection Site Hosts:

Find press releases, flyers, site signage and more!

Event Hosts:

Media alerts, flyers, posters, signage and more!

Recyclers in Your Area


Businesses need to make arrangements directly with recyclers. Those with at least 100 units may contact Joy Broussard for Commercial Volume Pickup.

Connecticut & Rhode Island

Businesses should contact our Northeast Program Coordinator Dan McGowan for arrangements.

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