Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I have to pay a fee and what does it pay for?
States with mattress recycling laws (California, Connecticut and Rhode Island) require that a recycling fee is assessed on each mattress and box spring sold to fund recycling programs that are administered by the nonprofit Mattress Recycling Council.
If I don’t plan to recycle an old mattress, do I have to pay this fee?
Yes. The fee applies to all mattresses and box springs sold in the states of California, Connecticut and Rhode Island to fund these mattress recycling programs.
Even if you aren’t recycling your mattress right now, a mattress doesn’t last forever, and will eventually be discarded. This program uses a network of participating solid waste facilities, retailers, recyclers and other organizations to collect, transport and properly recycle old mattresses.
If I decide to recycle the mattress myself, do I still pay the fee?
Yes. The recycling fee applies to all mattresses and box springs sold in the states of California, Connecticut and Rhode Island to fund these mattress recycling programs.
I didn’t pay this fee on my old mattress; will it be accepted for recycling?
Yes, if you are a resident of a program state.
All mattresses, regardless of age, that are in acceptable condition are eligible for no-cost recycling.
A retailer didn’t take back my old mattress because it deemed it unacceptable. Can MRC or the store refund my recycling fee?
The mattress recycling fee is not refunded when a retailer refuses to pick up an old mattress. The law allows retailers to refuse old mattresses that are infected, contaminated or an extreme safety risk. Contact your local officials to find out how to safely and properly dispose of your old mattress. Remember, there are criminal penalties for improper mattress disposal!
What happens to my old mattress or box spring?
Your old mattresses and box springs are dismantled, and the steel, foam, fabric and wood are separated and used to make new products. Our Why Recycle page provides additional information about the recycling process.
What types of mattresses and box springs are accepted for recycling?
The vast majority of discarded mattresses and box springs are eligible for no-cost drop-off and recycling through the Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Units that are not accepted include:
- Units that are wet, heavily soiled or infested with bedbugs
- Air mattresses that contain no upholstery material (such as camping beds)
- Car beds
- Cushions (such as from chairs, couches or patio furniture)
- Juvenile products including, carriages, baskets, dressing tables, strollers, playpens, infant carriers, lounge pad, crib bumpers
- Except in Connecticut — Crib and bassinet mattresses are accepted
- Mattress pads
- Mattress toppers
- Sleeping bags
- Sofa beds
- Except in California, a futon mattress is eligible, but the base is not
- Collapsible roll-away beds
- Water beds that contain no upholstery material