1. Why do I have to pay the recycling fee and what is it for?
State law (California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island) requires retailers to collect a recycling fee on each mattress and box spring that is sold. The fee funds the state’s mattress recycling program and provides for collection, transportation and recycling of old mattresses and box springs. The amount of the fee is the same statewide and is not controlled by individual retailers. More than 50,000 mattresses a day are discarded in the United States and more than 75 percent of a mattress can be recycled into new consumer and industrial products. The recycling program diverts valuable materials from landfill and helps keep bulky waste like mattresses and box springs out of the waste stream.
2. Who is the Mattress Recycling Council?
The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) is a nonprofit organization that operates recycling programs known as Bye Bye Mattress in states that have passed mattress recycling laws. MRC was founded by the bedding industry and recycles more than 1.5 million mattresses each year. For more information about MRC, go to www.MattressRecyclingCouncil.org. To learn how to recycle your mattress or to find a collection location or event near you, visit www.ByeByeMattress.com.
3. If I don’t plan to discard a mattress now, why do I have to pay this fee?
Even if you aren’t discarding a mattress right now, mattresses don’t last forever and will eventually be discarded. State law requires retailers to collect this fee on any mattress or box spring sale to fund the state’s mattress recycling program. This program provides a network of participating cities, towns, retailers, recyclers and other organizations where old mattresses are collected for recycling at no additional cost to you. The fee also supports efforts to combat illegal dumping of mattresses and help keep our community clean.
4. If I decide to take my old mattress to a recycler myself, do I still pay the fee?
Yes, state law requires retailers to collect this fee on any mattress and box spring sale at the time of purchase to fund the mattress recycling program. You may receive a modest financial incentive if you drop off your used mattress or box spring at a designated recycling location. Visit www.ByeByeMattress.com to find the location nearest you.
5. I didn’t pay this fee when I bought my old mattress, so will it be accepted for recycling?
Yes, the Bye Bye Mattress program will accept your old mattress through our collection network no matter when it was originally purchased. To be recycled, units must be clean and dry. Normal wear and tear is expected. We cannot recycle units infested with bed bugs or that are heavily soiled or damaged.
6. My old mattress was “unacceptable” for recycling. Can you refund my recycling fee?
No, state law requires retailers to collect this fee on any mattress and box spring sale to fund the mattress recycling program. The law does not force retailers to accept every mattress for recycling out of concern for employee health and safety. Store policy, in addition to the guidelines of the recycling program, determine what we will and won’t accept. If your mattress is unacceptable for recycling, contact your city or town to learn what disposal options are available.
7. What are the benefits of mattress recycling?
Mattress recycling programs offer many benefits for the community, state and environment, including:
• Less reliance on incinerators and landfills by diverting mattresses from the waste stream
• Reduces the number of illegally dumped mattresses
• Conserves resources by making used steel, foam and other materials available for use in new products
• Creates recycling jobs
8. What happens to my old mattress or box spring when it gets recycled?
Recycled mattresses are cut open and the layers are separated and organized by type. Wood is recycled and used as a fuel source or shredded to produce landscaping mulch. Foam, fiber and other soft commodities are compressed and turned into carpet underlayment or animal bed padding. Metal and box springs are extracted, sent to recyclers and used to make new appliances and building materials.
9. Will the Mattress Recycling Council or Bye Bye Mattress program pick up my old mattress from my home?
If your store takes back old mattresses:
No, but our store offers this service at time of delivery of your new mattress. (If your store recycles with the program, please let the customer know. Otherwise direct them to drop off their mattress at one of our free collection points listed on www.ByeByeMattress.com.)
If your store does not take back old mattresses, your response should be:
Mattresses are collected from a vast network of free collection sites throughout the state. These are typically public works yards or transfer stations. Your city/town may also collect bulky items at curbside as part of your trash service. Visit www.ByeByeMattress.com to see what options are available. The Mattress Recycling Council does not pick up mattresses from customer’s homes.
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