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California mattress recycling bill clears hurdle in state Senate

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A mattress recycling bill cleared a key hurdle in the state Senate this week but faces further legislative tests.

California's State Senate Environmental Quality Committee approved SB 254 by a 6-0 vote. The bill represents a compromise between bedding manufacturers, environmentalists and local governments, news reports say.

SB 254 creates a 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.

Californians for Mattress Recycling spokesperson Shelly Sullivan said: "We applaud the leadership of the environmental quality chair, Sen. Jerry Hill, along with Sens. Lou Correa and Loni Hancock and the International Sleep Products Assn. and Californians Against Waste for working so diligently late last week to amend the critical components of the Correa bill, SB 245, into SB 254 prior to this hearing."

The Correa measure, introduced earlier, was supported by ISPA.

The amended bill would provide Californians with a comprehensive mattress recycling solution that is intended to be consumer friendly and efficient. The SB 254 model is now similar to existing successful recycling systems in California for paint and used carpet, Sullivan said.

ISPA President Ryan Trainer said, "We are pleased to be moving forward with a single bill to address used mattress recycling in California. SB 254 (Hancock-Correa) remains a work in progress, and we are confident that by working with all stakeholders we can continue our efforts to develop public policy that will be best for California mattress consumers, retailers, manufacturers and the environment."

"A lot of speculation has been made about the financial figures associated with this legislation," Sullivan added. "Those costs will be determined by the recycling program group, but it is critical to note that manufacturers and retailers do not want those costs to be any higher than absolutely necessary. The goal is to assure that we establish a sound recycling program that is easy to use in removing used mattresses from landfills, vacant lots and highways."

SB 254 now moves to the Senate Appropriations Committee.

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