Research: Completed Reports

LCA Study Finds Significantly Favorable Impact

Posted: November 2022

Category: Recycling Efficiency

MRC contracted with Scope 3 Consulting to conduct a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) of our California operations. The purpose of the LCA was to describe and measure the environmental impacts and benefits to establish baseline environmental performance parameters for the program. The LCA analysis found significantly favorable environmental benefits in a number of key areas including the displacement of 75 million pounds of greenhouse gases in 2021. MRC’s expectation is to use the results of this study as a benchmark by which future technologies will be evaluated.

Mattress Recycling Equipment Guide Released

Posted: May 2022

Category: Recycling Efficiency

Digest: The Mattress Recycling Council has assembled a list of equipment and equipment vendors intended to specifically assist mattress recyclers. The list features balers, shredding equipment and spring extractors capable of deconstructing box springs. This is a free resource and MRC will periodically update this list with new vendors and equipment as appropriate, and will update equipment specifications as needed.

Recycled Foam Works in Concrete

Posted: December 2021

Category: New Markets

In an 18-month study at UCLA, researchers found that chemically recycled polyurethane mattress foam can be used to make concrete with less energy consumption than traditional concrete production methods. The results of two MRC-funded studies at UCLA were released in December 2021.

Researchers determined the upcycled polyurethane foam can be combined with naturally occurring zeolite minerals to produce high strength composites with properties comparable to ordinary Portland cement. The composites have better flexural strength and crack resistance and may be suitable for use in cast concrete and other products such as concrete sound barriers, benches, etc. The research also showed that the recycled foam actually outperformed virgin polyurethane materials.

A patent application was also filed in October 2021 for the process to add upcycled polyurethane foam to concrete.

Counting Study: The Queens are Most Recycled

Posted: December 2021

Category: Technical Documents

In 2021, MRC commissioned a mattress type counting and a composition study as the initial steps in conducting a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). This LCA will quantify the positive and negative environmental impacts of the California program. The survey of a California recycler found that queen-size mattresses were the most frequently recycled. This counts and composition study was delivered in December 2021.

Springs Still Dominate Composition Analysis

Posted: December 2021

Category: Technical Documents

In 2021, MRC commissioned a mattress type counting and a composition study as the initial steps in conducting a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). The survey of a California recycler found that Bonnell springs and pocket coil springs together compose 54% of all mattress types in the survey. This composition report was delivered in December 2021.

Study Explores Waste After Recycling

Posted: August 2021

Category: Technical Documents

MRC commissioned a waste characterization study of the residual material generated California mattress recyclers to quantify what mattress components are landfilled.  The August 2021 report found the top three most prevalent waste categories as a percentage of total waste are shoddy felt pad (22.0%), mixed non-woven fibers (19.8%) and quilt panels (17.3%).

California Mattress Recycling Residue Composition Study

Recycling Pocketed Coils

Posted: October 2020

Category: Recycling Efficiency

MRC has completed a sponsored research project with Wisconsin-based Knoble Design LLC to explore a novel approach for recycling pocketed coils, resulting in the successful construction of a small-scale machine demonstrating the approach. Project findings are detailed in a final October 2020 non-confidential report and demonstration video.

Study Finds Limited Uses of Shoddy Pads

Posted: October 2020

Category: New Markets

MRC contracted with GHD to explore the potential use of recycled mattress shoddy pad materials in civil engineering applications. We wanted to understand whether the fibrous nature of the material might be useful to filter storm water or control soil erosion. After receiving the October 2020 report, MRC decided to abandon the project because additional testing needed to determine if the product was appropriate for in-ground applications was cost prohibitive.

Study Reviews Energy Potential of Fluff

Posted: May 2020

Category: Technical Documents

In May 2020, MRC prepared a composite sample of shredded mattress quilt, foam, cotton, shoddy and other textiles. This sample was tested for composition, BTU (heat value), burn residuals and suitability for use as a substitute fuel which is a better end use than landfill.

Study of Mattress Metals for Secondary Use

Posted: May 2020

Category: Technical Documents

In May 2020, MRC collected samples of mattress metals to test for analytical composition and hardness to assist mattress recyclers, metal brokers and smelters to best prepare, process and recycle these metals for secondary markets.

Report Evaluates Transportation Logistics

Deadline: May 2020

Category: Recycling Efficiency

In May 2020, MRC completed a transportation study to evaluate the current performance of its logistics and supply chain to continuously improve operations and efficiency.

Lean Assessment Report Reviews Recyclers

Posted: April 2020

Category: Technical Documents

MRC completed lean manufacturing assessments for 12 mattress recycling companies in April 2020. Each facility received a confidential report detailing the results of the analysis, recommendations for improvement and associated potential impacts.

2019 Study Looks at Reusing Recycled Wood

Posted: November 2019

Category: New Markets

MRC wanted to understand the capacity and viability of secondary wood markets in California and a study that was completed in November 2019 identified sustainable and financially viable outlets for wood from dismantled box springs.

The Average Age Mattress MRC Receives is 11

Posted: April 2019

Category: Technical Documents

MRC contracted with MSW Consultants to understand the average age of discarded mattresses and box springs for forecasting purposes. Using manufacturing date tags collected at recycling facilities in each MRC state; MSW determined in the April 2019 study that the average of discarded units is 11.2 years.