Guest Post | Mattress Recycling: Game On!

ISPA President Ryan Trainer headshot
ISPA President Ryan Trainer

For many years now, I have watched and participated in our industry’s steady work toward achieving sensible mattress recycling. Yet I’m worried. Suddenly, after decades of gradual increases in voluntary mattress recycling, laws to require mandatory mattress recycling have emerged as the No. 1 threat to our industry.

Year after year, our industry has improved mattress recycling capabilities and capacity; and year after year, our society has become more vigilant in our efforts to protect and preserve the environment. That’s because we all know mattress recycling is no longer simply about the environment – it’s good business.

As the President of the International Sleep Products Association, I can tell you that ISPA has taken the lead in working with the industry, recyclers, regulators and consumers over the past 20 years to improve and expand the recycling of our products.

Currently, there are around mattress recycling facilities in the United States and Canada, and that number is growing. Despite this progress, states are considering costly and burdensome laws that would dictate all aspects of mattress recycling. So, what do we need to do next?

If our core product is to be regulated at the end of its lifecycle, then our industry has a critical role to play as those rules are developed. We need to get out in front of legislative efforts underway in the states. Why? Because we understand the challenges and opportunities presented by the efficient collection and disposal of our products.

Our primary goal is to support mattress recycling policies that do not unreasonably burden our businesses.

ISPA is advancing smart solutions that help communities and the environment without hurting our businesses. Policy makers like what they hear from us.

We need you to contact your elected officials and express your support for ISPA’s legislative efforts. Ask them to support a practical, efficient, cost-effective, and consumer-friendly mattress recycling system.

But any policy that is adopted must also actually work.

Did you know the various legislative solutions that ISPA has defeated in recent years would have not only put tremendous strain on our industry, they would have done very little to address the inadequate disposal and illegal dumping of discarded used mattresses? It’s true.

But there is a solution.

Right now, ISPA is sponsoring a bill in California authored by state Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana) (SB 245) and is working on legislation in other states that could serve as a template for other state recycling efforts: it calls for an economical and practical system that minimizes costs to the industry, consumers and the government.

The California bill would reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses while harnessing the existing infrastructure for getting used mattresses to recycling centers. Good mattress recycling policy facilitates economic growth by creating recycling jobs.

Regardless of where you live and operate, mattress recycling legislation will affect you. Get involved in this issue now.

Whether you live in California or another state, please add your voice to the chorus of industry support for effective mattress recycling policy by joining Californians for Mattress Recycling. Together, we can work toward solutions that are a win-win for our industry, communities, and the environment.

Visit ISPA’s Mattress Recycling Council website.