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Mattress recycling bill passes state Senate

May 30, 2013|By Marc Lifsher
  • A used mattress is dumped in Wilmington street. The California Senate approved a bill that would create the country's first mattress recycling program.
A used mattress is dumped in Wilmington street. The California Senate approved… (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO -- A compromise bill that would make California the first state in the nation to require recycling of old mattresses easily passed the state Senate.

The proposal could help keep an estimated 2 million used mattresses and box springs from being dumped on city streets, vacant lots and rural lands, said supporters, who include bedding manufacturers and environmentalists.

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The bill, SB 254, now goes to the state Assembly.

The recycling program would be operated by an industry group, which would be funded by a still-to-be-determined consumer fee that would be paid when bedding is purchased. The concept is similar to current recycling programs for used paint, tires and electronic waste.

Manufacturers have estimated that the cost might be around $25 per unit.

Part of that cost would go toward paying retailers to pick up discarded mattresses when they deliver new ones to consumers.

An industry official, Ryan Trainer of the Sleep Products Assn., called the compromise "a practical and efficient" way to clean the environment, create recycling jobs and minimize costs to government and business.

Mattress recyclers originally had opposed an initial recycling bill by Sen. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley), contending it would create a new state bureaucracy that would issue burdensome and potentially expensive regulations.

Industry, instead, backed a rival bill by Sen. Lou Corea (D-Santa Ana).

The version passed by the Senate Thursday contained elements of both bills.

In related legislation, the Senate defeated a ban on plastic supermarket bags by Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Pacoima).


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