Eco-Tip for 4-22-18
Mattress recycling options start with retailers
By David Goldstein, Ventura County PWA, IWMD
To fund recycling, local stores and on-line retailers all charge a state-mandated $10.50 fee for each mattresses or box springs sold. However, only the stores are required to collect your old mattress for free when delivering a new one. On-line retailers, delivering mattresses via UPS, FedEx, or another common carrier, escape this take-back requirement.
The $10.50 charge funds a recycling program called “Bye Bye Mattress.” A portion enables drop-off opportunities for consumers who do not use the convenient retailer take-back requirement. For example, in Ventura County, residents may drop off mattresses or box springs free at Gold Coast Recycling in Ventura, Del Norte Recycling in Oxnard, and the Simi Valley Landfill and Recycling Center. Pacific Manufacturing and Distributing, a bedding and furniture wholesaler in Oxnard, accepts both household and commercial mattresses, but only Fridays 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Check ByeByeMattress.com for facility hours and limits.
Free curbside bulky item collection is another easy option for mattress recycling. Most areas of Ventura County are served by refuse haulers whose contracts with the city or County require them to collect at least one bulky item free per year. If you call your refuse hauler and ask for pickup of a mattress, they may charge you $25, but if you make it clear you want to use your annual free bulky item pickup, there is likely no charge.
The worst alternative for mattress disposal is to bring it to a community cleanup event. Although the statewide fee sometimes subsidizes recycling from these events, in Ventura County most city and County events do not collect enough mattresses to justify separate containers. Mixing mattresses with refuse can contaminate mattresses and requires double handling of a bulky item before it can be transferred to a recycling facility.
Bye Bye Mattress is administered by the Mattress Recycling Council, a non-profit organization founded by the mattress industry and certified by California’s Department of Resources Recovery and Recycling. While the recycling fee provides many avenues for an old mattress to reach a recycler, keep the best alternative in mind when buying a new mattress – ask your retailer to take back and recycle your old mattress for free.