With Connecticut’s mattress-recycling program having been launched in May, and less than six months until programs in California and Rhode Island are anticipated to begin, the Mattress Recycling Council led a seminar at the Summer Las Vegas Market, Aug. 2-6, to assist retailers and manufacturers with understanding the new state laws and how to comply.
MRC shared highlights of the program plans that it submitted to California and Rhode Island state authorities in July, provided updates on the implementation of Connecticut’s program and introduced new resources that MRC developed to help the industry comply with the law and communicate with customers.
Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association, kicked off the presentation with a brief overview of the organization and its purpose.
“Mattress manufacturers, importers and retailers all have a role in this program’s success,” Trainer said. “If you aren’t complying with these state laws, you run the risk of not being able to sell your products in these states.”
MRC Managing Director Mike O’Donnell then explained each of the state programs, described the program designs that MRC has proposed for California and Rhode Island and discussed the compliance obligations of each segment of the mattress industry.
MRC anticipates California and Rhode Island will approve their respective plans by Oct. 1. Pending that approval, MRC proposes to launch the California program in January 2016 and set a recycling fee of $11 per unit. In Rhode Island, the program is expected to start in February 2016, and the proposed fee is $10 per unit.
“On the recycling front, our initial focus has been to encourage solid-waste facilities to be free collection points,” O’Donnell said. “The programs will succeed, and we can keep the recycling fees low if we can capitalize on the facilities’ collection and solid-waste management infrastructure. However, we are also encouraging mattress retailers, hotels, hospitals and other large mattress users to send the discarded mattresses they collect to the program for recycling.”
O’Donnell added that a majority of municipalities in California and Rhode Island already have shown interest in participating in those states’ programs, and MRC’s program coordinators are continuing to build those relationships. Meanwhile, in Connecticut, more than 20,000 mattresses have been recycled through MRC through the end of July. These mattresses have been collected from more than 100 cities, towns and other entities.
Manufacturers and retailers of mattresses sold in all three states must register with MRC. Registration is easy and free. To help with this process, Amanda Wall, MRC’s marketing and communications coordinator, introduced the variety of resources available to the industry and explained the development of the Bye Bye Mattress brand. She previewed the new video series explaining how manufacturers and retailers can use MRCreporting.org’s registration, reporting and payment features, as well as the customer communication pieces that are now available. Information cards, posters and Q&As are designed to help retailers explain the recycling programs to their customers.
“The Mattress Recycling Council will continue to be the industry’s go-to resource for understanding the state laws, learning about registration, reporting and fee payment and getting the latest program developments,” Wall said. “However, once a state’s program is implemented, it becomes visible to the public for the first time. For consumers, MRC has branded its activities under the name ‘Bye Bye Mattress.’”
This brand is being supported by its own dedicated website (www.byebyemattress.com), a public service announcement campaign, online advertising and media outreach.
The information presented during the seminar is available on www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org. The compliance and customer communication resources presented during the seminar also are available on MRC’s website in the resources section.
Compliance Support & Resources
Toll-free phone support: 1-888-646-6815
MRCReporting.org resources: Written step-by-step guidelines, FAQs, Fee policy, Definitions
More resources on the Web: How-to & informational videos