Almost three years after the Mattress Recycling Council launched the Bye Bye Mattress program, MRC recyclers have collected 3 million mattresses from hundreds of cities, towns, solid-waste facilities, landfills and other entities such as retailers, hotels and universities in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
MRC works with 10 recyclers that dismantle the discarded mattresses and recycle the reclaimed steel, foam and other mattress components. The recyclers are located throughout the three states and provide local jobs. Groups like the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Institutes of Health estimate that for every 10,000 pounds of material recycled, dozens of jobs are created.
“Although the early years of this program have been successful, we still have work to do,” says Mike O’Donnell, MRC managing director. “We continue to focus on improving consumer access to recycling, deterring illegal dumping and growing public awareness of our programs.”
MRC’s progress also has attracted international attention. In 2017, IMM, an international interiors show in Cologne, Germany, asked MRC to host a mattress-recycling educational session. It provided MRC the opportunity to learn from similar programs in Australia, France, Italy and the United Kingdom. MRC is furthering those discussions at ISPA EXPO 2018 this month in Charlotte, North Carolina, as leaders from mattress-recycling programs in Australia, Canada, the European Union, France and the United Kingdom take part in a Mattress Recycling Summit.