Thanks to more than $120,000 in grant funding awarded by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), 15 mattress collection sites across nine counties in California have completed infrastructure projects designed to increase the recyclability of mattresses and save landfill space.
The awards resulted in 10 new weather-protection projects, including covers, cement pads and cargo containers. In total, those sites anticipate increasing recyclable units by more than 12,000 annually. The other five awardees purchased equipment including mobile ramps, forklift attachments, scissor docks and staircases to assist in loading units and improve the safety and/or efficiency of collection operations.
MRC collection sites are seeing the benefits from the funded improvements already: “MRC’s microgrant has been a great success in Sanger,” said Daniel Galvez, City of Sanger management analyst. “Since the grant award was announced, the additional attention the mattress recycling program received has helped the city increase collections to 1,506 mattresses in 2019 compared to 849 in 2018. The cement pad and carport at the City Yard provide an easily identifiable location to drop off mattresses. The drop-off location also allows our staff the ability to collect, sort and load the mattress in a safe and dry location.”
Other sites that have completed projects agree: “The MRC microgrant has allowed us to improve our process,” said Zoraya Atayde, Green Waste Recovery relationship manager. “The collection, sorting and loading has become a lot easier, providing us with the ability to be more efficient.”
The completed projects represent the first round of two grant funding cycles that MRC has awarded to collection sites to date. The second cycle of microgrants for collection sites saw nearly double the number of applicants and more than a 50 percent increase in awards, with $192,000 allocated. MRC estimates that an additional 60,000 units will diverted be recycled as a result of these improvements, which are still underway. The two rounds of funding to collection sites from MRC to date total more than $300,000.
“Providing these grants is just one of the ways we continue to work with the more than 200 mattress collection sites throughout California to increase productivity and divert as much material as possible from state landfills,” said Mike O’Donnell, managing director of MRC. “The program serves as a global model for successful mattress recycling and we want to continue that leadership.”
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. For more information about collection site funding projects, please contact Abbie Beane at firstname.lastname@example.org.