The mattress game just changed with an environmental turn. California, Connecticut, and Rhode Island passed mattress-recycling regulations in 2013, changing recycling fees, registration requirements, and how the entire process works. The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) helped push these states to make the necessary changes to their legislation, and they hope to do the same across the rest of the country.
The timeline for implementation of these laws vary from state to state, with Connecticut leading the charge last July. Rhode Island and California are set to take on the changes around the same time next year. But, what do the changes actually entail, and are they practical for other states to adopt?
The first significant change concerns the registration requirements mattress retailers need to incorporate into their system. Mattress retailer actionwood.com from Salt Lake City said businesses will need to register basic information with the MRC, shifting the responsibility for end-of-life disposal from manufacturers to the council. Vice President of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA), Chris Hidgins, says retailers can sign up for registration through the MRCs website.
Under the new scheme retailers and contract-sales, manufacturers need to collect a small fee for every mattress and foundation they sell. The collected fees, which are subject to tax, will serve as the funds for the recycling process each mattress will go through at the end of their life cycles. Online mattress shops are also not exempt from collecting the fee.
Retailers print these fees on the tab to ensure customers know exactly where their money is going. Many external factors may affect the MRCs effectiveness in delivering these services to certain states, such as the cost of labor, real estate, and transport.
The MRC is a non-profit so it needs to fulfill its obligations as efficiently as possible. The council will release annual reports on its activities, and risk liquidation of support if they fall short of their mandate. Recycling mattresses are a new phase in the green game that has many bumps ahead of it. Hopefully, the authorities can hammer the details, and create a system that’s beneficial for everyone involved.Read More »