The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), operator of the Bye Bye Mattress program, announced the continued expansion of its relationships with local conservation corps (LCC) in California. What started in 2016 with the Greater Valley Conservation Corps in Stockton has extended to eight of the state’s 14 LCCs. These Corpsmembers are obtaining critical job skills as they operate collection sites and collection events in their communities, giving area residents additional no-cost ways to recycle mattresses and furthering the LCC’s commitment to protecting and enhancing the environment.
“The growth of this relationship is making a difference for the environment and changing lives,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “These Corpsmembers are young adults that are working hard to put themselves on a path to success. Essentially, when you pay the recycling fee on your new mattress, portions of it support opportunities created by these various local conservation corps.”
One of the newest MRC partnerships is with the Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps, which provides two permanent mattress collection sites: its main base in southwest Fresno and at the Friant Buyback Center. Corpsmembers also provide labor for mattress collection events in Fresno and Madera counties and surrounding areas.
“This collaboration with the Mattress Recycling Council has been several years in the making and we’re eager to make an impact in our community together,” said Director of the Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corp Shawn Riggins. “Collecting mattresses for recycling will greatly complement our current services and help eliminate some of the illegal mattress dumping experienced in our service area.”
The San Jose Conservation Corps and Charter School is another LCC partnering with MRC. The corps provides labor for mattress collection at the Goodwill of Silicon Valley three days a week.
“Our work with the Mattress Recycling Council allows us to reach more young adults and provides them with job opportunities that focus on improving our communities and our environment,” said San Jose Conservation Corps Director of Zero Waste and Emergency Operations Louise Bruce. “We look forward to further developing this relationship and expanding the impact we can have on the South Bay together.”
Another newly formalized relationships is the San Francisco Conservation Corps, which hosted its first collection event this month and is planning to host more in 2021. Additionally, the Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps recently assisted the Western Placer Waste Management Authority with an event that collected over 600 mattresses, the largest event in MRC history.
MRC is also piloting a method for involving LCCs in its Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative. Each year, MRC dedicates $1 million to the initiative which provides funding to eligible entities in exchange for data about the illegally dumped mattresses collected by the entity in their service area. In 2021, the San Jose Conservation Corps, Fresno EOC Local Conservation Corps and Greater Valley Conservation Corps will each partner with municipalities in their local jurisdiction to remove and track illegally dumped units in their communities.
“Similar arrangements between a local conservation corps and a municipality have been successful for tires and electronic waste,” said O’Donnell. “We are looking to implement those best practices and create a process that makes it possible for similar nonprofits to participate in our initiative.”
The three other local conservation corps MRC works with are the Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Urban Corps of San Diego and the Conservation Corps North Bay. MRC works with other nonprofits, as well, including Goodwill Industries, The Salvation Army, Habitat for Humanity and St. Vincent de Paul. Information about upcoming collection events and details regarding collection sites are available at ByeByeMattress.com.