Mattress Recycling Council's Bye Bye Mattress Program Diverts 150,000 Mattresses From Connecticut's Landfills

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Annual Report Announces Initial Success of Nation's First Statewide, Industry-Led Mattress Recycling Program

After the top layer of the mattress is removed, internal components are seperated and sold to various scrap dealers or other companies.

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.

Last week, the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) presented its inaugural Annual Report of the Connecticut Bye Bye Mattress Program to Connecticut municipal leaders and state regulators. The report summarized the Program’s performance from its inception in May 2015 through the end of the state’s 2016 fiscal year (June 30).

The Program has already exceeded, met or is on pace to achieve nearly all benchmarks set in its plan, which was approved by the state in 2014. Highlights of the Program’s initial success in Connecticut include:

  •     Recycled 150,000 mattresses. If these mattresses were laid end to end, they would span the state of Connecticut and then some – that’s more than 100 miles!
  •     Recovered more than 2,800 tons of steel, foam and other materials that will be made into new useful products. That’s equivalent to 400 elephants.
  •     Expanded the collection network to 101 free drop-off sites. More than 2.3 million residents across Connecticut have easy access to the Bye Bye Mattress collection site network.

“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.

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.

“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.”

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. Connecticut residents can find their nearest participating collection site, collection event or recycling facility at http://www.ByeByeMattress.com.

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.

In addition to its Connecticut program, MRC operates Bye Bye Mattress in California and Rhode Island. To learn more, visit http://www.ByeByeMattress.com.

Recycling Facts
More than 80% of a used mattress’ components can be recycled. Metal springs, foam, wood and fibers can all be made into new useful products. For example:

  •     The steel springs are melted and used to make new appliances, building materials and other steel products.
  •     The foam can be turned into carpet underlayment or animal bed padding.
  •     The wooden frames can be shredded to produce landscaping mulch.
  •     The cotton and other fiber can be used in industrial oil filters and other textile applications.

The Recycling Process
Most recyclers currently use the following process to dismantle a mattress:
1.    The top mattress layer (including the outer fabric) is cut, peeled and separated from the mattress’ interior materials, which can include fiber, polyurethane or latex foam and steel springs.
2.    The interior materials are pulled apart and separated by type.
3.    Foam, fiber and other soft commodities are baled and compressed for transport to scrap dealers or companies that will consume them to make new products.
4.    Metal springs from mattresses and box springs are extracted and sent to scrap recyclers that sell them to steel mills and foundries.
5.    Wood is chipped or shredded.

About Mattress Recycling Council
The Mattress Recycling Council is a non-profit organization formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs in states that have enacted mattress recycling laws – Connecticut, California and Rhode Island. Each state’s program is funded by a recycling fee that is collected when a mattress or box spring is sold. The fees pay for the transportation and recycling of discarded mattresses and box springs. To learn more about MRC and each state law, go to http://www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.

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Amanda Wall
@byebyemattress
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