SACRAMENTO, CA – More than 3 million mattresses over the past two years were diverted from landfills and sent to recycling facilities, thanks to the Mattress Recycling Council’s “Bye Bye Mattress” program, established in California in 2016, according to organizers.
Hard to believe, perhaps, but 80 percent of used mattresses can be turned into new consumer and industrial products with old mattress foam turned into carpet padding, mattress springs sold as scrap steel and melted down to make building materials and other steel products, and wood from box springs chipped and used as landscape mulch, Bye Bye Mattress managers said.
The no-cost, environmentally friendly program offers alternatives to Californians disposing of old mattresses through local collection sites 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.”
A recycling fee collected when consumers buy mattresses and box springs in California funds the program. Old, collected mattresses are transported to regional recyclers that dismantle and recycle the components, the agency said. Consumers may take old mattresses to more than 230 drop-off locations and collection events throughout California. See list here.
The program also recycles mattresses collected by retailers, hotels and universities, that discard mattresses in large volumes.
In addition to recycling, the program aims to prevent illegal mattress dumping, and by working with local communities, this $1 million initiative has helped remove more than 63,000 improperly disposed-of mattresses from alleys, sidewalks and public spaces throughout California since 2016, according to the organization.
“The Bye Bye Mattress Program exemplifies California’s leadership in a sustainable and circular economy by creating green jobs,” O’Donnell said. “After less than three years, we’ve made progress toward reducing our environmental footprint, conserving landfill space and supporting California’s statewide recycling goals.”
The Mattress Recycling Council operates in states that enacted mattress-recycling laws – in short – California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. For more information, go to www.ByeByeMattress.com. More about the mattress-recycling process can be found here.
–Image via Bye Bye Mattress