Mattress Recycling Laws

old mattressesGone are the days of carting off a mattress to a local landfill. And it makes sense. Mattresses are nearly 100% recyclable. A combination of laws and a growing mattress recycling industry are helping to divert this type of bulk waste from landfills.

In 2013, California, Connecticut and Rhode Island became the first three states to implement a product stewardship law for mattresses. The law requires mattress manufacturers develop programs to recycle discarded mattresses. According to Matt O’Donnell with the Mattress Recycling Council, increased legislation for product stewardship and accountability are anticipated in the coming years as means to prevent mattresses from entering the waste stream.

Results were released from an exciting pilot project in Alameda, California this week. The largest mattress recycler in the country, DR3 Recyclers was able to successfully remove over 600 illegally discarded mattresses from various locations around the city. The pilot project kicked off in January and serves as an inspiring model for cities across the country who struggle with this type of costly-to-clean up waste. (Waste 360)

All but 10% of a mattress can be recycled. Metal springs, fibers, wood and memory foam are re-purposed in the manufacturing of new items or used as a biomass fuel source.

Businesses generating bulk waste search for cost-effective solutions for disposal and recycling. Bulk items can include furniture, major appliances, carpet and e-waste. Certain types of bulk waste items may have localized recycling laws mandating their disposal and those laws can vary from state to state and city to city. Knowing your options and what is available in your market place will help guide you in finding the best solution for bulk waste.

Unfortunately, for hotels or college dormitories conducting a major renovation, finding a local mattress recycler could prove a challenge. Mattress recyclers are not yet located conveniently in every city. Mattress recyclers face difficulty competing with landfills due to the high cost involved with recycling. Deconstructing a mattress is time consuming and labor intensive, with each mattress taking approximately 10-15 minutes to break down. With current costs ranging from $5-$10 per mattress unit, the costs are rivaling landfill tipping fees. There are additional costs when bulk items have to travel, so it behooves you to find local recyclers.

For businesses such as hotel chains with multiple locations in multiple states, you may require disposal of larger quantities or on an, ‘as needed,’ basis. Recycling management may be the best option to stay compliant and to reduce costs.

National Waste Associates offers recycling solutions for businesses with multiple locations. We provide a variety of cost-effective solutions for recycling both hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Our recycling programs are designed to handle both large and small quantities of waste. At NWA, we work pro-actively to improve your processes while keeping you compliant to the ever changing localized recycling laws. For more information about how we simplify waste and recycling management, call 1-888-692-5005 or email sales@nationalwaste.com. For a list of mattress recyclers across the nation, check out www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org .