Governor Signs Oregon Mattress Recycling Legislation
On March 24, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law SB 1576 establishing a statewide mattress recycling program. This action caps a multi-year effort by ISPA and other stakeholders to negotiate a practical recycling law for the state. The mattress industry supports this new law, which authorizes an industry-organized nonprofit like the Mattress Recycling Council, to provide residents with free, convenient and accessible opportunities to discard old mattresses and divert them from waste to recycling.
MRC looks forward to working with the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and will submit a program plan to DEQ no later than Oct. 1, 2023, and will propose launching the program in 2024. This legislation is aligned with other successful recycling programs administered by MRC in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
10 Million Mattresses Recycled
At ISPA EXPO on March 8, MRC used Facebook Live to announce that more than 10 million mattresses have been recycled through its statewide programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. As a result of this work, more than 380 million pounds of steel, foam, fiber and wood have been diverted from landfills and recycled into new products. To further improve the performance of its programs, MRC has undertaken important research to improve mattress collection and recycling processes while promote product circularity in the mattress industry.
Strike Waste from Our Vocabulary
A few words of advice from Andrew Dent, EVP of Research at Material ConneXion, we should stop using the word “waste” to alter the perception of industrial byproducts and trash that can often become a valuable resource. “There is always going to be some industry that can use the stuff you throw away,” Dent said.
MRC sponsored Dent’s presentation as the sustainability keynote speaker at the recent ISPA EXPO. Consumers see the products they buy as a reflection of their personal brand, Dent observed, and are becoming invested in understanding the materials that make up these products. He ended by challenging the bedding industry to move towards a circular method of manufacturing by using renewable and/or waste materials in their products.
The Future of Recycling
Members of the New Materials Recycling Committee held their second meeting at ISPA EXPO to share their insights about new materials being introduced in the bedding industry and consumer purchasing trends. MRC shared data about recent studies analyzing discarded mattress types and composition completed as part of MRC’s Life Cycle Analysis project. This information is helpful for MRC to anticipate future changes in discarded mattress composition and how recyclers can adapt to feedstock changes over time.
We’re Taking a Load Off Hospitals
Through MRC’s Commercial Volume Program (CVP), hospitals in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island have options for recycling unwanted mattresses. In each state, hospitals have access to no-cost drop-off locations and may qualify for no-cost pick-up and transportation. Learn more at ByeByeMattress.com/Commercial-Recycling.
New Resources – Included & Excluded Video
Our newest video, “Included & Excluded,” explains what mattress products are excluded and included in MRC’s Bye Bye Mattress program.
All “How To” videos can be found in the Resources section on our website.
SHARE – PSA: Break Up the Right Way With Your Old Mattress
Share MRC’s PSA titled “Break Up the Right Way With Your Old Mattress” with your community during Earth Week. Use it in your social media, a newsletter, your city’s public access channel or your website. It was developed in consultation with stakeholders from MRC’s Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative and those involved in environmental justice work. The PSA encourages consumers to think about proper disposal and how mattress components are made into new products. Consumers learn that MRC’s Bye Bye Mattress program makes recycling easy through responsible recycling solutions like retailer take back and bulky item collection.
Links to download or share 30-second and 15-second versions are available in the Bye Bye Mattress Media Center.
Data Due to CalRecycle by May 1, 2022
California mattress recyclers, solid waste facilities and mattress renovators must report 2020 data to CalRecycle by May 1, 2022. See CalRecycle’s Mattress Annual Reporting webpage for more information.
NSF Provides $2M for Polyurethane Circularity Research; MRC invited to Stakeholder Committee
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently launched the Emerging Frontiers in Research & Innovation Circularity of Cross-linked Polyurethane Foams (CCPF) research project being conducted by teams based at Arizona State University and Virginia Tech. MRC has been invited to participate on Stakeholder Committee which will provide an important communication channel between industry members and the research teams. This research is funded by a $2 million NSF grant with a goal of advancing a national circular economy for end-of-life polyurethanes. The group’s first meeting is March 25.
Three Illegal Dumping Pilot Projects Presenting Findings
In 2021, three California cities received $230,000 in funding from MRC to implement targeted strategies to reduce illegal mattress dumping in their respective communities. Each city will present its findings at the three-day California Statewide Illegal Dumping Conference April 19-21. The panel is part of the education track on April 19. Attending this virtual conference is free but requires pre-registration.
- San Jose: Measured the effectiveness of mitigating illegal dumping by using surveillance cameras and multilingual outreach campaigns at four multi-family dwelling sites; $99,225.
- Berkeley: Implemented a bulky item pickup service for all residential buildings between one and nine units, and an accompanying marketing campaign. Berkeley also increased bulky item collection and marketing for local colleges and universities on move-out days; $100,000.
Palmdale: Implemented a targeted behavior change study and community outreach to remove barriers that effect the illegal dumping of mattresses from multifamily housing complexes; $33,452.
New Collection Sites
Welcome Junction City Transfer Station
52414 JC Dump Road
Junction City, California 96048
This collection site is in Trinity County and accepts mattresses for recycling from county residents Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 8am – 4pm. Visit their listing for more.
Save Money, Reduce Waste and Increase Efficiency in Mattress Manufacturing
Registration required for this free educational event.
MRC’s Sleep Products Sustainability Program (SP2) will host a lunch and learn webinar to introduce the program and its benefits to prospective participants in the California bedding industry. SP2 is a voluntary program that develops a pathway to increased efficiency, resulting in lower overall operating costs. MRC will present the benefits and savings a recently certified facility experienced and explain how your facility can get started.
Earth Day 2022
At Earth Day celebrations across California and Connecticut, MRC will be sharing mattress recycling information with residents. Look for MRC’s Bye Bye Mattress program at these events:
City of Alameda Earth Day Festival; and Victorville Spring Festival & Egg Hunt
Earth & Arbor Day Cupertino; Freemont Earth Day; Green Oceanside Earth Day of Service; Marine Science Institute’s Earth Day on the Bay; Newtown Earth Day; Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County Earth Day (virtual); and Santa Barbara Earth Day
EarthFair San Diego; ECOS Sacramento Earth Day; Earth 2050 Mill Valley; Earth Day Napa
April 30 – May 1 Santa Clarita Home and Garden Show; Lodi Street Fair; and Woodbury Earth Day
NERC’s Virtual Spring Conference 2022
The conference theme is Seeking Circularity with Non-Traditional Solutions.