Today, Connecticut becomes the first state in the nation with a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program, known as Bye Bye Mattress, is administered by the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), a nonprofit organization created by the mattress industry to develop and manage the state mattress recycling program mandated by law in 2013. Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), city leaders and representatives from the solid waste and recycling industry gathered at the City of Hartford’s Bulky Waste & Recycling Center to commemorate the inaugural truckload of mattresses bound for the recycling facility.
“The implementation of this first in the nation mattress stewardship program means previously discarded mattresses will be recycled in an environmentally sound manner, sustaining jobs in Connecticut and resulting in cost savings for municipalities,” said DEEP’s Commissioner Robert Klee. “This program mirrors similar stewardship programs the state has enacted for electronics, paint and thermostats. We recognize the Mattress Recycling Council for their commitment to the success of this program and the City of Hartford for their leadership in getting this law passed.”
Bye Bye Mattress allows Connecticut residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites and recycling facilities for free. Almost 50 cities and towns across Connecticut have joined the program as designated collection locations, with some also providing curb-side pick-up. These sites span the state across urban and rural areas. Residents that take their used mattresses directly to one of the designated recycling facilities located in East Hartford or Bridgeport will receive $2 per mattress from the recycler (limit four per person per day/eight per person per year). Connecticut residents can find their nearest participating collection site or recycling facility here.
MRC is also working with mattress retailers, hotels, military facilities, universities, healthcare facilities and other public and private entities in Connecticut to divert mattresses from the solid waste stream. It will report the program’s progress to DEEP each October.
“Working with all stakeholders, the industry has taken a major step toward creating a cost-effective solution to a long-term problem,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC. “We designed Connecticut’s program to increase the recycling of used mattress materials by leveraging the existing waste collection infrastructure. MRC is working with many types of businesses and industries to recycle their used mattresses through the program. The Connecticut resident benefits from the no-cost drop-off opportunities. This will both encourage more mattress recycling as well as discourage illegal dumping.”
The program is funded through a $9 recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold to Connecticut consumers. Consumers will notice this fee as a separate line item on their receipt. The fee is used to pay for transporting and recycling the discarded mattresses.
Similar recycling programs are expected to launch in California and Rhode Island in 2016.