The Mattress Recycling Council’s (MRC) Bye Bye Mattress Program (Program) announced today it has recycled more than 3 million mattresses in California since its inception in 2016. The Program offers no-cost, environmentally friendly alternatives to Californians disposing of old mattresses through local collection sites, public events and collaborations with local retailers and solid waste providers.
“Reaching this milestone in less than three years of operation is a significant achievement,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “We share the Program’s success with our dedicated contractors and participating collection sites across California. We also have continued support from elected officials that voted for this law in 2013.”
More than 80 percent of mattresses can be recycled and turned into new consumer and industrial products. For example, old mattress foam is recycled into carpet padding, mattress springs are sold as scrap steel, which is melted to make building materials and other steel products, and wood from box springs is chipped and used as landscape mulch. More about the mattress recycling process can be found here.
“The MRC Program is one of the most effective Product Stewardship Programs Butte County is associated with,” said Steve Rodowick, recycling coordinator with Butte County. “This program saves us money, manpower and above all, valuable landfill space.”
A recycling fee collected when consumers buy mattresses and box springs in California funds the Program. MRC uses the fee to establish free drop-off locations and collection events throughout the state. Collected mattresses are then transported from these sites to regional recyclers that dismantle and recycle mattress components. Consumers may take their old mattresses to more than 230 drop-off locations and collection events throughout California. The Program also recycles mattresses collected by retailers, hotels, universities and other sources that discard mattresses in large volumes.
“Our work with the Mattress Recycling Council fulfills our mission to provide youth in San Joaquin and Tuolumne counties with an opportunity to develop work skills and preserve California’s environment,” said Deborah Phillips with the Greater Valley Conservation Corps, a San Joaquin Office of Education program. “In less than a year, Greater Valley Conservation Corps crew members have helped recycle more than two thousand mattresses, while also gaining the experience they need to move into green sector careers.”
In addition to recycling, the Program works to prevent illegal dumping, which includes the Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative. By working with local communities, this $1 million initiative has helped remove more than 63,000 improperly disposed-of mattresses from alleys, sidewalks and other public spaces throughout California since 2016.
“The Bye Bye Mattress Program exemplifies California’s leadership in a sustainable and circular economy by creating green jobs,” said O’Donnell. “After less than three years, we’ve made progress toward reducing our environmental footprint, conserving landfill space and supporting California’s statewide recycling goals.”