California approves mattress recycling law

Mattress recycling law approved in California

By Bobby Elliott, Resource Recycling

Barring an unforeseen turn of events, Californians will be getting help in dealing with their end-of-life and discarded mattresses.

The California State Senate approved the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act last week by a vote of 31-8.  The bill also garnered strong support in California's State Assembly, where it passed easily with bipartisan support, 66-11. The extended producer responsibility measure will create a nonprofit mattress recovery organization which would be responsible for planning, implementing and administering a system to collect discarded used mattresses, dismantle them and recycle their materials for use in new products.

Gov. Jerry Brown is expected to sign the measure into law.

Addressing both the expense of handling illegally dumped mattresses and their unsightly appearance, the bill would fund a statewide mattress recycling organization through a surcharge tacked onto new mattresses at point of sale. The charges are expected to range from $8 to $14, and retailers, manufacturers and renovators would be required to cooperate with and aid the collection and recycling program. Retailers would also be required to offer a used mattress pick-up service at no extra charge and provide convenient collection sites for customers to drop off their end-of-life mattresses.

In addition to its bipartisan support from Senate and Assembly members, the bill has been backed by the mattress industry group International Sleep Products Association. Supporters of the bill have pointed out the legislation could spur "green" jobs in the state and aid municipalities currently tasked with handling — and paying for — mattress collection.

If signed by Gov. Brown, California would join Connecticut and Rhode Island as the only states to pass mattress recycling legislation.

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