Plan requires those who produce, sell or renovate mattresses to collect a recycling fee on each mattress and box springs sold
On May 1, Connecticut’s Mattress Stewardship Plan took effect, making it the first state in the nation to launch a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program is administered by the Mattress Recycling Council, a nonprofit organization created by the mattress industry to develop and manage the state mattress-recycling program mandated by law in 2013.
The law resulted from the International Sleep Products Association’s effort to develop a practical and economically efficient approach to mattress recycling. Since the law was passed in 2013, MRC has worked to develop a network of cities and towns, mattress retailers, hotels, military facilities, universities, healthcare facilities, and other public and private entities in Connecticut that will recycle their discarded mattresses and box springs through the program. Connecticut retailers also may make arrangements with MRC for no-cost drop-off of their used mattresses and box springs at an MRC-contracted recycling facility.
“The mattress industry has been focused on mattress recycling since at least the 1990s,” said Ryan Trainer, president of ISPA and MRC. “Through MRC, the industry has taken a positive step to protect the environment and bring all stakeholders together to create a cost-effective solution for a long-term problem.”
The program is funded through a $9 recycling fee that is collected when a new or renovated mattress or box spring is sold to Connecticut consumers. They will see this fee as a separate line item on their receipt. Retailers and other businesses selling mattresses will remit the fees to MRC each month via a convenient online payment portal. The fees will be used to pay service providers that will transport and recycle the discarded products.
“Our Connecticut program gives all the state’s mattress retailers—big and small—access to no-cost recycling,” said Richard Diamonstein, managing director of Paramount Sleep and chairman of the MRC Board of Directors. “This is an important milestone for our industry, and I’m proud to be a part of our leadership role.”
The program is expected to prevent illegal dumping by providing no-cost recycling of old mattresses and to divert thousands of them from solid-waste disposal facilities. With the number of recycled mattresses increasing, MRC also will support market development for the extracted steel, foam, wood and fiber.
Similar recycling programs will launch in California and Rhode Island in 2016. To learn more about MRC’s programs visit, www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.
Connecticut retailer FAQs
How do I explain this fee and program to my customers?
MRC has developed a receipt attachment and a customer-facing microsite (www.byebyemattress.com) that explains the fee and common questions. To place an order for receipt attachments, contact Amanda Wall, MRC’s marketing and communications coordinator, at email@example.com.
MRC also has developed a resources library with downloadable graphics; customizable in-store print materials, including posters and slick sheets; and prewritten website and social-media content.
How do I train my sales staff to speak about the fee?
At www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org, you will find resources such as a customer question-and-answer document. MRC can assist in creating other training items, including PowerPoint presentations, employee newsletter articles and fact sheets for staff-training manuals.
Is the point of sale going to be the first time customers learn about this fee?
Shoppers may hear about the mattress-recycling program prior to their visit to your store. MRC is launching a statewide, public-service announcement that will be placed in radio, print and outdoor media. It also will include online advertising. In addition, there was media outreach surrounding the launch of the program.
What if I still have questions about registering, reporting and remitting the fee?
Visit the resources area of www.mrcreporting.org to access registration FAQs, registration guidelines, a complete fee policy and videos that walk you through the registration, reporting and remitting process.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-646-6815 to learn more.
I want my store to recycle mattresses through the program. How do I get started?
Interested Connecticut retailers can email Justine Fallon, MRC’s Northeast program coordinator, at email@example.com to discuss your mattress volumes and logistical needs.
Visit the recycling locator at www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.
Now showing: MRC videos available online
For retailers wanting to know more about the Mattress Recycling Council and how to use its online registration and reporting system, a new three-part video series is available for viewing on the MRC website.
The first video explains what MRC is, why the recycling programs were created and the benefits of recycling your products through the program. If you’ve wondered how to take advantage of the recycling services provided by MRC, this video is for you.
The other two videos introduce the registration process and the reporting and fee remittance features at www.mrcreporting.org. One video walks you through the six-step registration process, showing you screen by screen what to expect. It answers questions about who needs to register and how to do so. The sequel outlines how to report your sales data and remit your fees. It also highlights common questions regarding MRC’s fee remittance policy.