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Mattress recycling bill becomes law in California

David Perry, Staff Staff -- Furniture Today, September 30, 2013

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. applauded a mattress recycling bill that he signed into law here late last week.

SB 254, backed by the International Sleep Products Assn., enjoyed bipartisan support as it moved through the legislative process in recent weeks. The bill will create a practical and efficient used mattress recycling program that will have a dedicated funding mechanism, reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, harness existing infrastructure for transporting used mattresses to recyclers, create jobs, and minimize costs to both government and consumers, its supporters say.

In his signing message, Brown said: "I applaud the efforts of the authors in creating a program to lessen impacts to California landfills, reduce costs to local governments, and remove blight in rural and inner city neighborhoods."

The new law is supported by a broad range of groups, including industry, retailers, recyclers, cities and counties, local elected officials, and waste management organizations. It will create a non-profit mattress recycling organization whose duty will be to plan, implement and administer a state system to collect discarded used mattresses, dismantle them and recycle their materials for use in new products. The program will be sustained by collecting a fee at retail on the sale of new mattresses and box springs.

"This is a great day for our industry, the environment and California consumers," said ISPA President Ryan Trainer. "All stakeholders collaborated to help refine this legislation into a used mattress recycling policy that will provide a practical and innovative solution to a serious problem. This is an effective and efficient piece of public policy legislation and ISPA is proud to be a part of the solution in dealing with properly recycling used mattresses."

SB 254 provides Californians with a comprehensive mattress recycling solution that is consumer friendly, cost effective and efficient. The program authorized by SB 254 is similar to existing recycling systems in California and other states for other consumer products, its supporters say.

California is the third state in the country to pass a used mattress recycling law this year, joining Connecticut and Rhode Island. But California is a critical state because other states are often influenced by actions taken by that state, bedding observers say.

Shelly Sullivan, representing Californians for Mattress Recycling, an education and lobbying group, said: "We would like to thank the authors, the co-sponsors and all stakeholders who participated in the process and remained so committed to SB 254. We know Californians take pride in their recycling practices. SB 254 simply gives Californians another avenue to broaden the scope of the state's recycling portfolio."

SB 254 was authored by Sen. Lou Correa and Sen. Loni Hancock.

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