Have you ever wondered what to do with an old mattress?
Three states have adopted a recycling program, “Bye, Bye Mattress,” run by the Mattress Recycling Council, a national organization of mattress producers. The council operates recycling programs in Connecticut, California, and Rhode Island.
“Since the program began in 2015 [in Connecticut], more than 1.2 million mattresses have been recycled with more than 21,000 tons of steel, foam, fiver and wood being diverted from incinerators and landfills,” writes Julie Martin Banks on CT News Junkie.
In each state, a law requires an upfront, visible fee paid by all mattress buyers—$11 in California, $11.75 in Connecticut, and $16 in Rhode Island. The fee goes to the state-based Mattress Recycling Council, which has set up collection centers around the state. While the council does not pick up mattresses, some towns have arranged to do so.
Why do I like it? A need exists, the organization is private, the price is right, and, while a state law is required (making the fee mandatory), the state doesn’t seem to get much involved.
Image by Alan Stanton in London, licensed by Creative Commons.
2 thoughts on “Good News: A Recycling Program to Like”
Disposal/reycling of materials unsuitable for landfill space is a widespread issue, and some local/state efforts appear to be aimed at “virtue signaling.” Keeping up such efforts over time is problematic–as warehouses throughout the U.S. fill up with recyclable materials for which there is no market. E.g., my Kroger’s in Arlington TX did have a separate recycling bin just for thin-film plastic bags, whereas they also have a regular recycling bin. If you put plastic bags into the regular recycling bin/stream, it causes problems for the machinery used to separate and process recyclables, and will just be thrown away as trash–i.e., sent to the landfill–according to the landfill’s website. So I hauled a bagful of plastic bags to Kroger’s the other day, and found the separate bin gone, and the only choice was to put the bags in the regular recycling bin.
I agree about the virtue signaling. At long last even Greenpeace has conceded that plastic recycling doesn’t work (https://www.libertyandecology.org/decades-late-even-greenpeace-recognizes-plastics-recycling-is-a-waste/). In the case of plastic bags, there was indeed an effort by supermarkets to recycle them but it has failed. I recommend just putting them in the trash.