New Law Expands Mattress Recycling in California

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State adds futons to recycling program and will require internet retailers to pick up customers’ discarded mattresses

Under new amendments to the state’s mattress recycling law, California is expanding its mattress recycling program to include futons. For the mattress industry, this means manufacturers, distributors and retailers selling futons to California end users must register with the Mattress Recycling Council and retailers must begin collecting a fee on each futon sold. The change takes effect Jan. 1, 2020.

“With this change, California is expanding the scope of MRC’s successful mattress recycling program. By including futons within the definition of a mattress, residents now will be able to recycle these items at the end of their useful lives at no cost, further reducing the amount of waste going into the state’s landfills,” said Mike O’Donnell, managing director of MRC, a nonprofit organization that manages statewide mattress recycling programs in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The amendments were signed into law by California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Oct. 10.

The new fee and recycling obligations apply only to the futon, not to the futon frame or base.

Specifically, under the new law:

  • Manufacturers and retailers of futons that already are registered with MRC must update their company profiles at MRCReporting.org if they manufacture or sell futons to any California end users.
  • Manufacturers of futons that are not registered with MRC but that manufacture or sell futons to California end users must register their brands and URNs at MRCReporting.org.
  • Retailers that are not registered with MRC but sell futons to California end users must register at MRCReporting.org. 
  • Retailers must collect a recycling fee of $10.50 on each futon sold to any end user in California on or after Jan. 1, 2020. Retailers must remit the collected fees to MRC monthly.

MRC recyclers will begin accepting used futons beginning Jan. 1, 2020.

Lori Barnes, MRC manager of industry communications, said MRC is reaching out to stakeholders directly and through news media to raise awareness about the changes to the California program and explain the new requirements regarding futons.

On the horizon

The amendments make two other changes that will affect the mattress industry. First, beginning Jan. 1, 2021, a company that sells a mattress to a California end user and delivers it via common carrier must offer to pick up a used mattress from that consumer for recycling at no additional cost within 30 days after the new mattress is delivered. Second, mattress distributors must register with MRC by March 1, 2020.

Look for more details about these other two provisions through MRC communications, as well as in upcoming issues of BedTimes magazine and the BedTimes in Brief e-newsletter.

These amendments apply only to the mattress recycling program MRC operates in California and not to MRC programs in Connecticut and Rhode Island. MRC uses fees collected by retailers on each mattress and foundation sold to end users in these three states to fund its recycling efforts. Each year, MRC’s three statewide programs recycle 1.5 million mattresses, diverting 52 million pounds of useful material from the waste stream.

For more information, contact MRC at info@mattressrecyclingcouncil.org or 855-229-1691.

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