California passes mattress recycling law

In a final 66-1131-8 vote, the California Senate approved SB 254 on Sept. 12. The legislation will establish a statewide system for recycling used mattresses. The California State Assembly earlier approved the bill in a 63-113-10 vote on Sept. 11. Authored by Senator Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Senator Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), SB 254 creates a used mattress recycling program that the International Sleep Products Association believes will reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, harness existing infrastructure for transporting used mattresses to recyclers, create jobs and minimize costs to both government and consumers.

Commenting on the bill’s passage by both houses of the California State Legislature, ISPA President Ryan Trainer said, “We are very pleased SB 254 has been approved by both legislative chambers in California and is now headed to the governor’s desk for his consideration. This is an effective and efficient piece of legislation, and ISPA is proud to be a part of the solution in dealing with recycling used mattresses. We appeal to the governor for his signature on this very important piece of legislation that will make a positive impact on keeping used mattresses out of our landfills, off highways and roads, and out of vacant lots.”

Under SB 254, a nonprofit mattress recycling organization would be created to plan, implement and administer a state system to collect discarded used mattresses, dismantle them and recycle their materials for use in new products. The program will be sustained by collecting a nominal fee at retail on the sale of new mattresses and box springs.

At a recent press conference regarding SB 254, Senator Correa said, “Californians buy about 4 million new mattresses and box springs each year and discard roughly 2 million units. Dealing with discarded mattresses is a big job for this state. The goals set forth in SB 254 establish a sound foundation to move California forward in further preserving and protecting our communities from blight.”

The legislation creates a comprehensive mattress recycling solution for the state similar to recently passed mattress recycling legislation in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The recycling program authorized by SB 254 also is similar to existing recycling systems in California and elsewhere for other kinds of consumer products.

Shelly Sullivan, representing Californians for Mattress Recycling, an ad hoc group of stakeholders in support of the legislation, said, “We would like to thank all who participated in the process and remained so committed to SB 254.  We know Californians take pride in their recycling practices. SB 254 simply gives Californians another avenue to broaden the scope of the state’s recycling portfolio.”


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