The polyurethane foam, steel springs and wood frames from Californians’ used mattresses will soon become the material for carpet padding, landscaping mulch and new bedding.
Under a state program that took effect this month, California residents are now able to drop off their old mattresses and box springs at participating collection sites for free. Funded through an $11 fee on mattress and box spring purchases, the program aims to divert that bulky waste from landfills to recycling facilities that can turn it into other useful products.
Bye Bye Mattress, which also launched in Connecticut last year and is set to follow in Rhode Island, is the effort of state Sen. Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley. She said she started working on the idea after small business owners in her district complained about the blight created by old mattresses dumped on the street.
The program will “help us get to our zero-waste goal, help us leave healthy neighborhoods for our kids and help us reuse a product,” Hancock said.
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DR3 Mattress Recycling opened ten months ago and processes about 1,000 mattresses per day from across Northern California. Operations manager Tony Avalos took The Bee on a tour of the facility.