Recycling bills looming
David Perry -- Furniture Today, December 17, 2012
ALEXANDRIA, Va. - A new year is expected to bring a new round of state mattress recycling bills that would impose crippling costs on the mattress industry, according to the bedding industry's trade association.
The International Sleep Products Assn., which favors a national approach to mattress recycling, helped defeat mattress recycling measures in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island earlier this year. It expects advocates of those measures to renew their efforts in 2013, and says other states may also consider mattress recycling bills.
"As in 2012, ISPA will respond to these bills to protect the industry from burdensome legislation that will cripple the industry," ISPA said in a year-end statement on the recycling issue.
"Our long-term goal remains to establish a national system for mattress recycling through federal legislation, but we recognize that the threat posed by the states is serious and imminent. To that end, ISPA will work with the state officials to make sure that legislation will encourage more recycling in a cost-efficient and practical manner," the association said.
The state bills introduced earlier this year "would have forced mattress manufacturers to pay for recycling of used mattresses," ISPA said. It said that the legislation that almost passed in California "would have cost mattress manufacturers more than $100 million annually in California alone. This is an overwhelming expense for any industry, especially one that is still recovering from the recession."
ISPA said the mattress industry has long supported the need for efficient mattress recycling.
With more than 50,000 mattresses discarded each day in the United States, each occupying up to 23 cubic feet of landfill space, an efficient recycling solution is necessary, ISPA said.
It said used mattresses can be broken down to their component parts and recycled to make new products. "By working constructively with all stakeholders, ISPA can find a solution that both promotes efficient mattress recycling and limits costs for everyone," the association said.
In a statement released in support of ISPA's recycling position, Specialty Sleep Assn. President Dale Read urged his members to push for "a single mattress recycling plan, a smart, planned and centrally directed nationwide mattress recycling program, and to prevent well-meaning ‘green' advocates from creating a nightmare of 50 state programs that cost small to mid-size manufacturers and local retailers millions of dollars, create a huge potential health hazard and actually prevent the efficient recovery and re-use of valuable components and materials."