Recycling your mattresses helps state’s landfills


For The Madera Tribune

A worker takes apart a recycled mattress for the Mattress Recycling Council. More than 75 percent of a mattress can be recycled.

 

By recycling an old mattress, 75 percent of it can be reused and made into something else.


“It’s turned into new consumer and industry products,” said Jennifer Duran, Mattress Recycling Council Central California Program Coordinator. “It’s a waste if we dumped it, as well. It’s the same idea for boxsprings. It’s not going to have as much in padding. Its wood and steel will be recycled, as well. We take mattresses, boxsprings and futons.”


At the recent curbside service by the City of Madera, more than 3,000 mattresses were collected and recycled.


“That is 181,000 pounds that didn’t go to the landfill,” Duran said. “We partnered with Mid-Valley Disposal, who is the hauler in the area. We brought the trailers in on behalf of the city and that’s how we get the mattresses.”


Duran said residents can go to their website — byebyemattress.com — to look up where they can recycle their mattress.


“You can put in your city and zip code and it will pop up locations near them and that includes collection events,” she said. “In Madera County, there is one location at the Fairmead Landfill. The City of Madera works with us with their bulky curbside service. There’s a portion where the hauler goes out to pick up curbside. There’s also a portion where residents can drop off, as well.”


Because of their lack of sites in Madera County, Duran said her organization is looking for other companies to partner up with to host recycling events.


“We don’t have a lot of drop off sites in Madera,” she said. “We would be interested in partnering with other public works yard, a retailer, or company to have a site. We would provide all the transportation associated with that.”


The council will be hosting a recycling event at Liberty High School on May 15 from 8 a.m.-noon.


“We’re trying to provide convenient access in different parts of the county,” Duran said. “It’s an ongoing effort. Residents don’t even need to unload their mattresses.”


Residents are paying $10.50 for a recycling fee every time the purchase a mattress.


“California is one of the stats that has this written into legislation and that’s how the Mattress Recycling Council was formed,” she said. “It’s an industry-led non-profit. It’s very similar to E-waste. We want to support the end of life and life cycle of products so we don’t have an overflow of products in landfills. We want to be more responsible.”


Once a mattress is picked up, it goes to a recycler and the council has one in Fresno.


“They deconstruct the mattress,” Duran said. “The steel and wood is shredded down. The steel goes to other steel products. The wood most likely goes to mulch. The coconut fibers and cotton are recycled for other products. Coconut fibers go to ropes or other mattresses. The foam goes to carpet padding.”


In addition to using drop-off events or going to the landfills, retailers also take old mattresses after you purchase a new one.


“If they purchased a mattress from a retailer, the retailer is responsible to take away their old one,” Duran said. “California passed legislation this year where the retailer should take the old mattress from you if you purchased it from them. That includes not just brick-and-mortar stores, but also the online stores. People don’t know about it as much.”


Since 2016, the Mattress Recycling Council has collected over seven million mattresses. More than 17,500 mattresses have bee collected in Madera County, which means more than 21,000 cubic feet of material was diverted from the landfills.