Two rival bills currently in Legislature in California focus on the recycling of mattresses, and industry experts and environmentalists say some form of mattress recycling legislation is likely to be passed this year.
One bill, from Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), would require mattress makers to recycle 75% of used mattresses by 2020, and would allow manufacturers to charge retailers or consumers a fee to make that possible, writes the Los Angeles Times. The mattress industry dislikes the proposal, saying such a bill would mean higher mattress prices for consumers and that the industry, not the government, should be in charge of recycling. They are sponsoring a rival bill — SB 245 by Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) — that would likely see the state setting a recycling fee, to be paid by consumers, with the fee being clearly listed on mattress sales receipts.
The Correa bill has been amended and is ready to be heard in the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee in the coming weeks. The bill, says ad-hoc group Californians for Mattress Recycling, seeks to “promote California mattress recycling in a realistic and equitable manner.” Senator Correa says the bill will not only clean up the “blight of illegally dumped mattresses in our neighborhoods and along our roads,” and will also create a solution that is “good for the environment, California consumers and industry.”
Californians for Mattress Recycling spokesperson Shelly Sullivan stated, “Californians are committed to improving their recycling habits. They are ready for a comprehensive mattress recycling solution that is consumer friendly and efficient. The SB 245 model is very similar to existing recycling systems in California for paint and used carpet.”
With both bills, the push is to require the industry to recover springs, wood and fiber from old mattresses.
According to the Los Angeles Times, California residents buy about 4 million new mattresses and box springs each year — and half of the used mattress those new mattress replace end up in landfills or simply dumped on city streets. The city of Oakland, for example, spends $200,00 per year to collect mattresses that have been illegally dumped by the side of the road, says a survey conducted by Hancock’s office.
Fewer than 10% of old mattresses are recycled in the state.