ISPA and the industry have long supported the need for efficient mattress recycling. As a result, ISPA last year sought an efficient national solution to waste problems associated with used mattresses.
At the same time, the industry faced costly legislation in three states that would have forced mattress manufacturers to pay for recycling of used mattresses. For example, California considered legislation that would have cost mattress manufacturers more than $100 million annually in California alone. This is an overwhelming expense to any industry, especially one that is still recovering from the recession. We were fortunate to defeat California’s legislation, and to respond to similar bills in Rhode Island and Connecticut.
In 2013, we expect advocates of these bills to renew their efforts for mattress recycling legislation in these and possibly other states. As in 2012, ISPA will respond to these bills to protect the industry from burdensome legislation that will cripple the industry. Our long-term goal remains to establish a national system for mattress recycling through federal legislation, but we recognize that the threat posed by the states is serious and imminent. To that end, ISPA will work with the state officials to make sure that legislation that will encourage more recycling in a cost efficient and practical manner.
With more than 50,000 mattresses discarded each day in the U.S., each occupying up to 23 cubic feet of landfill space, an efficient recycling solution is necessary. Used mattresses can be broken down to their component parts, and then recycled to make new products, including new steel products, carpet padding, or press board. By working constructively with all stakeholders, ISPA can find a solution that both promotes efficient mattress recycling and limits costs for everyone.