Connecticut approves recycling plan
Mattress Recycling Council program to begin May 1
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has approved the Connecticut Mattress Stewardship Plan developed by the Mattress Recycling Council, a nonprofit organization created by the mattress industry to develop and manage mandated statewide mattress-recycling programs. The approval Dec. 31 makes Connecticut the first state to work with MRC to implement such a program.
The plan requires that retailers add a $9 recycling fee to each new or renovated mattress and box spring sold to Connecticut consumers. Consumers will see this fee as a separate line item on their receipts beginning May 1. Retailers and other businesses selling mattresses will remit the fees to MRC, which will pay for contractors to collect and recycle the mattresses.
“Connecticut has taken another step toward reaffirming its leadership in materials management,” said Robert Klee, DEEP commissioner. “I applaud the mattress industry for working with us to develop a solution that protects consumers, works efficiently with our existing municipal solid-waste networks and values the recovery of the natural resources contained in the thousands of mattresses that are buried in landfills, lost to incineration or abandoned in our communities each year.”
The program will divert mattresses from the solid-waste stream to recyclers who will extract valuable materials including steel, foam and cotton. It also minimizes recycling costs to consumers because the statewide program creates an economy of scale.
“Responsibly managing discarded mattresses benefits consumers and the environment, and it’s most effective when done on a large scale,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association. “Through this law, the mattress industry has developed a self-sustaining infrastructure for handling these products.”
MRC estimates that in the United States at least 20 million mattresses and box springs are discarded each year when consumers replace old mattresses with new ones.
Connecticut mattress-recycling FAQ
How can Connecticut consumers recycle a mattress?
Consumers will continue to dispose of mattresses through traditional methods, such as municipal collection or drop off, or retailer take-back when a new mattress is delivered. These mattresses, which previously may have gone to a landfill or waste-to-energy facility, can now be recycled. Consumers also may drop off mattresses at designated recycling facilities at no charge.
What types of mattresses will the program accept?
Any mattress or box spring discarded by Connecticut consumers is eligible for recycling.
What sleep products are excluded?
Severely damaged, wet, twisted, frozen or soiled mattresses or box springs; mattresses or box springs infested with bedbugs; mattress pads or toppers; sleeping bags; pillows; car beds; juvenile products (carriage, basket, dressing table, stroller, playpen, infant carrier, lounge pad or crib bumpers); crib and bassinet mattresses; waterbeds or camping air mattresses; fold-out sofa beds; futons and furniture
To learn more
For more information about the Mattress Recycling Council and mattress recycling, visit www.mattressrecyclingcouncil.org.
O’Donnell hired as managing director
The Mattress Recycling Council has hired Mike O’Donnell as managing director to oversee the implementation of its mattress-recycling programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
Based in the Pacific Northwest, he is responsible for leading MRC’s day-to-day operations and managing program coordinators as they work with their states’ municipalities, retailers, transporters and recyclers.
Previously, O’Donnell served as a consultant to MRC as it developed its program plans for these states, which passed mattress-recycling laws in 2013. O’Donnell has more than 20 years of experience managing solid- and hazardous-waste collection programs for private and public entities, including the development of legislated statewide-recycling programs for paint and mercury-containing lamps. He currently sits on the national board of directors for the North American Hazardous Materials Managers Association.
“We are extremely pleased to have Mike become a permanent member of our team and are confident that he has the leadership abilities and project-management skills to implement these programs efficiently and successfully,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association.
New program coordinator tapped
The Mattress Recycling Council has hired Rodney Clara as its Northern California program coordinator. He is responsible for working with municipalities, retailers and other mattress generators, transporters and recyclers.
Clara’s experience includes 14 years in the recycling and reuse industry. He began his career with Goodwill Industries as a resource-recovery manager, developing waste reduction/recycling programs in Northern California and served as vice president and director of three California electronics-recycling companies.
Most recently, Clara worked as the senior project manager for Hugo Neu Recycling in New York, where he developed and managed a business/customer-oriented recycling program for electronic waste. He received a degree from Santa Monica College and studied Environmental Science at the University of California, Santa Barbara.
“Rodney’s background demonstrates a proven track record in deploying innovative recycling programs throughout California,” said Ryan Trainer, president of MRC and the International Sleep Products Association. “There are many transferable skills gained from his career in electronics-waste recycling and his outside perspective will be valuable to our program team.”
Spring Back names Tidwell director
Nonprofit mattress-recycling company Spring Back Recycling has named Blake Tidwell interim executive director. He fills a position formerly held by Michael Kattman, who left the Nashville, Tennessee-based company earlier this year. The company chose Tidwell based on his experience serving on its board of directors, as well as his passion for Spring Back’s mission. Tidwell’s professional credentials include serving as controller for LogicForce Consulting, director of credit balance for HMS and chief financial officer of Arbor Healthcare LLC.