Connecticut recently passed the first law to mandate state-wide mattress recycling, International Sleep Product Association (ISPA)'s President Ryan Trainer announced to members on May 30. But, to counter proposals that the industry cover all costs associated with this requirement, ISPA negotiated with state officials to establish a recycling program that doesn’t burden the industry economically but relies on the industry itself to introduce an effective implementation system.
Trainer says that ISPA knew that it was only a matter of time before a state-wide mattress recycling law was passed. “In 2012, California proposed recycling legislation that could have cost mattress manufacturers more than $100 million a year,” he recalls. After initially pushing for national legislation to set recycling requirements, ISPA changed course and began working with the states to devise a feasible solution. One early result: Connecticut’s Public Act 13-42, which introduces the first state-wide “mattress stewardship program.”
The new law authorizes ISPA to create a nonprofit organization that will run a mattress recycling program in the state and will be funded through small, visible consumer purchase fees. This new organization will set up a system to collect and recycle used mattresses from retailers, municipalities and other sources. The program will be carried out with limited government involvement and will not impose recycling quotas that carry stiff penalties, Trainer pointed out in a letter to ISPA members describing the new law.
“ISPA supports this new law because it not only creates a practical solution to the problem of how to dispose of discarded mattresses, it also serves as a model that other states can use in developing similar legislation,” Trainer wrote. He also urged all members to become involved in the association’s efforts to pass reasonable recycling laws and predicted that those in Connecticut would be called on to help implement the new state-wide program.