Saying bye-bye to a used mattress in Connecticut has changed dramatically during the past year-and-a-half, as Connecticut became one of only three states in the nation to institute a statewide mattress recycling program. The initiative, approved by the state legislature two years ago and underway since May 2015, has gained a solid foothold here, according to its first annual report.
The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC), a non-profit organization established by the mattress industry that created and manages the program in Connecticut, California and Rhode Island, presented its inaugural Annual Report of the Connecticut Bye Bye Mattress Program to Connecticut municipal leaders and state regulators last month. The report summarized the Program’s performance from its inception through the end of the state’s 2016 fiscal year (June 30).
The Connecticut program has “exceeded, met or is on pace to achieve nearly all benchmarks” set in its plan, which was approved by the state in 2014. Highlights include:
- Recycled 150,000 mattresses.
- Recovered more than 2,800 tons of steel, foam and other materials that will be made into new useful products.
- Expanded the collection network to 101 free drop-off sites throughout the state.
“We are pleased with the program’s productive start and will continue to work with city leaders, businesses and the state to improve the program, expand the number of communities served, and increase the volume of mattresses recycled,” said Ryan Trainer, President of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association.
Bye Bye Mattress allows Connecticut residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites, collection events and recycling facilities free of charge. This collection network is made possible by the $9 recycling fee that Connecticut consumers pay when they buy a new mattress or box spring. The fee provides for collection containers, transporting the discarded mattresses and recycling costs.
Industry-led recycling programs like Bye Bye Mattress will play an important part in helping Connecticut reach its goal to divert 60 percent of materials from disposal by 2024, officials indicated in the 59-page report.
“We applaud the mattress industry for developing a successful statewide program under the mattress stewardship law that has already recycled thousands of mattresses in an environmentally sound manner,” said Robert Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “This program has created jobs, recovered vast quantities of resources to be reused, saved municipalities $1.5 million in disposal costs and given residents an easy way to recycle a cumbersome item.”
MRC is also working with more than 130 other public and private entities, including mattress retailers, hotels, military bases, universities and healthcare facilities in Connecticut to divert their discarded mattresses from the solid waste stream. The MRC website indicates that the organization continues to enroll interested municipal transfer stations in the program and work with those interested in hosting recycling events.
Connecticut’s Public Act 13-42 (enacted in 2013 and amended in 2014) required the mattress industry to create a statewide recycling program for mattresses discarded in the state. Connecticut residents can find their nearest participating collection site, collection event or recycling facility at www.ByeByeMattress.com.