Connecticut Debuts First Mattress Recycling Effort

With California and Rhode Island to Follow in 2016, Here’s What Retailers Need to Know Now

July 28, 2015 —

Connecticut rolled out the nation’s first statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. Known as Bye Bye Mattress, the program is administered by the Mattress Recycling Council, a nonprofit organization created by the mattress industry to develop and manage the state’s mattress recycling program mandated by law in 2013. Officials from 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. Similar programs will be implemented in California and Rhode Island in 2016.

As these new Bye Bye Mattress programs roll out, retailers have been wondering what it means for them, what to say to their customers and how they can benefit. Here are some common questions and concerns we’ve been addressing since Connecticut launched its program.

What do these new recycling laws mean for retailers? Each state’s program is funded by a recycling fee that’s collected from consumers when a new mattress or box spring is sold. In Connecticut that fee is $9 for each piece so a mattress and box spring—regardless of size—costs $18. The fee is largely based on what transportation and recycling costs are for each state and the MRC proposes the fee in its plan; fees for other states may vary.

Retailers are required to collect this fee and list it visibly on every customer receipt.

Each month, retailers must remit the collected fees and report to the Mattress Recycling Council via the online, secure portal at Mrcreporting.org.

Retailers now have access to no-cost recycling services for the mattresses they collect from their customers.

How do I use mrcreporting.org? In the resources area of the website you can find guidelines as well as a video series that explains the registration, reporting and fee remittance processes. Assistance is also provided via 1-888-646-6815 or support@mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.

What is MRC doing to make the public aware of Bye Bye Mattress? MRC created Byebyemattress.com as the consumer-facing brand of the program. Outside of retailer customer communications, MRC will advertise online and place public service announcements in print, radio and outdoor media.

We are also working with our municipal collection sites to be present at local events so we can communicate our message to their residents.

What does MRC do with the recycling fees it collects from retailers? The collected fees fund the recycling of the mattresses and box springs collected by retailers, solid waste facilities, hotels, universities, hospitals and other sources.

MRC will provide no-cost recycling services for retailers regardless of their business’ size in states that have recycling legislation on the books.

How are the mattresses and box springs recycled? More than 80 percent of a used mattress’ components can be recycled—the metal springs, foam, wood and fibers—and made into new useful products.

I want to use MRC to recycle my store’s mattresses. How do I start? If your store is located in California, Connecticut, or Rhode Island, contact MRC at 1-855-229-1691 or info@mattressrecyclingcouncil.org and be ready to discuss your discarded mattress volumes and logistical needs.

I’m not in a state with a mattress recycling law, but I want to recycle my mattresses. Can MRC still help me? Yes. As a public service, MRC has compiled a summary of mattress recyclers operating in the United States and Canada. This listing is available at Mattressrecyclingcouncil.org. MRC has no financial or other interest in any of the businesses located in these non-program states and does not endorse them in any manner. These locations will charge for recycling services.

Amanda WallAmanda Wall is marketing and communications coordinator for the Mattress Recycling Council and can be reached at awall@mattressrecyclingcouncil.org

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