Mattress Recycling Council Releases WHITE PAPER Examining Causes of Illegal Dumping of Durable Waste

Recommends policymakers take recognized prevention and mitigation strategies
and use a coordinated approach

ALEXANDRIA, VA – To help policymakers and other stakeholders better understand why people illegally dump bulky items like auto parts, household appliances and furniture, the Mattress Recycling Council released a white paper, “Best Practices in Addressing Illegal Dumping of Durable Waste.” Authored by Dr. Calvin Lakhan and Nana Adjei, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change at York University in Toronto, Ontario, the white paper suggests numerous potential strategies that create a coordinated approach to preventing and deterring this behavior. A panel of experts assembled by AlphaSights also contributed to the paper’s development. An executive summary and the full white paper are available here.

Research shows most people agree that illegal dumping is wrong and can pose risks to the environment, economy, and society. This white paper explores the “why” of illegal dumping. What are the barriers to proper disposal? What are the decisions that precede the act of dumping? This analysis uncovers opportunities to divert residents from the path that leads to illegal dumping and onto a path that leads to responsible disposal. Raising awareness and strengthening enforcement are other topics explored in the paper.

“As we’ve worked to make our mattress recycling programs successful in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, we’ve met with hundreds of local leaders and stakeholders expressing concern about the toll illegal dumping is taking in their communities,” said Mike O’Donnell, Managing Director of MRC. “This is a complex societal issue that requires a collaborative and inclusive approach, and we hope this white paper helps start those conversations.”

Other resources MRC provides to elected officials and stakeholders to inform residents of proper mattress disposal and encourage recycling includes a public service announcement, communication toolkits and a lesson plan. In California, municipalities can take advantage of MRC’s Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative to track hot spot locations in their communities.

Visit to learn more about MRC’s efforts to combat this persistent problem.

About the Mattress Recycling Council

The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) is a nonprofit organization that operates recycling programs in states that have passed mattress recycling laws: California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. MRC was founded by the bedding industry and recycles more than 1.7 million mattresses each year. For more information about MRC, go to  To learn how to recycle your mattress or to find a collection location or event near you, visit

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