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David Perry

California mattress recycling bill clears hurdle

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A mattress recycling bill supported by the International Sleep Products Assn. won a key committee vote Monday.

The California Assembly's Natural Resources Committee approved SB 254 on a 7-0 bipartisan vote. In the next few weeks the bill will move to the Assembly Appropriations Committee and then to the Assembly floor for approval.

The bill would create a used mattress recycling program that will keep old mattresses out of landfills, off highways and out of vacant lots and alleys, according to the bill's authors, Sen. Loni Hancock and Sen. Lou Correa. They say the bill will further California's overall recycling goals, create jobs, and minimize costs to both government and consumers.

The bill would create a used mattress recycling program that will have a dedicated funding mechanism and would reduce the impact of illegally dumped mattresses, its authors say.

Ryan Trainer, president of the International Sleep Products Assn., said the bedding industry's trade association is encouraged by the progress of the bill to date.

"We are very pleased with the progress SB 254 is making," he said. "All stakeholders continue to work together to help refine this legislation into a used mattress recycling policy that will benefit consumers, retailers, manufacturers, and the environment. We give a lot of credit to the authors of SB 254 along with our co-sponsors and coalition supporters. Compromises have been made by all in order to move SB 254 forward."

The bill's supporters say it will provide Californians with a comprehensive mattress recycling solution that is consumer friendly and efficient. They said it calls for a model similar to existing and successful recycling systems in California for paint and used carpet, and one that is similar to used mattress recycling legislation signed into law earlier this year in Connecticut and Rhode Island.

"SB 254 is a fantastic illustration as to what is possible," said Shelly Sullivan, who represents Californians for Mattress Recycling, a lobbying group. "It strikes a carefully considered balance that will increase used mattress recycling, reduce urban blight from illegally dumped mattresses, and cut local and municipal government costs, while at the same time financing the process in a sustainable and equitable manner."

She said the bill enjoys a broad range of support from industry, retailers, cities and counties, local elected officials and waste management organizations.

It would create a nonprofit mattress recycling organization whose duty would 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 nominal fee at retail on the sale of new mattresses and box springs. ISPA officials have not specified the amount of the fee.

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