Connecticut’s First-in-the-Nation Mattress Recycling Program Launches Today
Friday, May 1, 2015
Posted by: Suzy Whalen
The nation’s first extended producer responsibility law for mattresses offers Connecticut’s residents convenient recycling options.
BOSTON, Mass. — Connecticut today launched the country’s first statewide mattress recycling program. This groundbreaking program – which has become a model for other states – requires retailers to collect a small fee from consumers and use it for mattress recycling efforts.
Connecticut’s law passed in 2013. A strong and early proponent, Hartford Mayor Pedro Segarra led a coalition in support of the bill and worked closely with the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), Connecticut local governments, mattress manufacturers, and other stakeholders to develop the recycling program.
Connecticut government officials estimate that municipalities manage over 175,000 discarded mattresses each year. Under this new program, Connecticut retailers will charge a $9 fee at purchase, and the industry-run Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) will contract with companies to collect and recycle the used mattresses, instead of shipping them off to landfills or waste-to-energy facilities for disposal.
The program will save local Connecticut governments an estimated $1.3 million a year and give a boost to recycling businesses.
“The implementation of this first-in-the-nation mattress stewardship program means previously discarded mattresses will be recycled in an environmentally sound manner, sustaining jobs in Connecticut and resulting in cost savings for municipalities,” said Robert Klee, the Commissioner of Connecticut DEEP. “This program mirrors similar stewardship programs the state has enacted for electronics, paint and thermostats. We thank the Product Stewardship Institute for their important contribution to this initiative and the City of Hartford for their leadership in getting this law passed.”
Since 2010, PSI has worked with local governments in Connecticut and across the U.S. to bring attention to this issue and obtain support for action. Together, PSI and other stakeholders developed potential solutions that provided the foundation for mattress stewardship legislation. Following Connecticut, Rhode Island and California passed similar laws and are developing their mattress recycling programs now.
“Thanks to the leadership shown by Mayor Segarra and the CT DEEP, Connecticut has a law that will save governments and taxpayers money, protect the environment, and boost the economy by increasing recycling market opportunities,” said Scott Cassel, Chief Executive Officer of PSI. “We’re proud to have been part of this effort, which will be a model for mattress take-back programs across the country.”
About the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI)
The Product Stewardship Institute (PSI) is a national, membership-based nonprofit committed to reducing the health, safety, and environmental impacts of consumer products across their lifecycle with a strong focus on sustainable end-of-life management. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, we take a unique product stewardship approach to solving waste management problems by mediating stakeholder dialogues and encouraging producer responsibility. With a membership base comprised of 47 state governments and hundreds of local government agencies, as well as partnerships with more than 95 companies, organizations, academic institutions and non-U.S. governments, we work to design, implement, evaluate, strengthen, and promote both legislative and voluntary product stewardship initiatives across North America. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
About the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP)
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is charged with conserving, improving and protecting the natural resources and the environment of the state of Connecticut as well as making cheaper, cleaner and more reliable energy available for the people and businesses of the state. The agency is also committed to playing a positive role in rebuilding Connecticut’s economy and creating jobs – and to fostering a sustainable and prosperous economic future for the state.
DEEP was established on July 1, 2011 with the consolidation of the Department of Environmental Protection, the Department of Public Utility Control, and energy policy staff from other areas of state government. The environmental protection agency had been established in 1971 at the dawn of the environmental movement, while the public utilities regulatory authority traces its roots back more than 150 years to the state’s Railroad Commission.