Last week the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) submitted a request to Connecticut regulators to simplify the fee collection process required by Public Act 13-42. Enacted in 2013, the law authorizes mattress retailers to collect a fee that will fund the recycling of used mattresses discarded in the state.
MRC is a nonprofit organization created by the International Sleep Products Association to develop a statewide recycling plan and help implement the new law, with oversight from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). That plan is due to DEEP by July 1, 2014.
Chris Hudgins, MRC vice president for industry and external affairs, stated, “As a result of the industry’s lobbying efforts last year, the Connecticut law gives state regulators latitude to decide how the fees collected from consumers would be paid to the MRC. Specifically, the law provides that the state may administratively establish ‘alternative, practicable means of collecting or remitting such fee’ to MRC. We have requested the state’s approval to require that the recycling fee collected by the retailer be paid directly to the recycling program, an approach that has also been sought by Connecticut retailers.”
Under the Connecticut law, the recycling fee will be identified in a separate line item on the consumer’s receipt. Based on the approach that the MRC proposes, the retailer will not be required to pay that amount to the mattress manufacturer and the fee will not increase the retailer’s cost of goods.
Hudgins noted, “The goal of the Connecticut law is to provide the state with a comprehensive and financially sustainable system that increases mattress recycling in a manner that is consumer-friendly, efficient and cost-effective. The MRC understands the need for a program that does not create any undue or unintended burdens on the retail community or other stakeholders. Our request, if approved, will allow for a streamlined, equitable fee collection process.”
MRC is in the process of collecting the information needed to prepare an operating budget and calculate the recycling fee. Although the exact fee amount will depend on a number of factors, MRC’s goal is to keep it as low as possible.