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Governor signs mattress recycle bill

September 30, 2013|By Marc Lifsher
  • Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a mattress recycling bill into law. Above, a mattress dumped in front of a Wilmington store.
Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a mattress recycling bill into law. Above, a… (Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles…)

SACRAMENTO -- California consumers soon will be paying for a new state mattress recycling program, funded by a fee on bedding purchases.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill by Sens. Loni Hancock (D-Berkeley) and Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), SB 254, aimed at taking an estimated 2 million used mattresses and box springs a year off city streets, vacant lots and rural lands.

The bill backed is both by mattress manufacturers and retailers as well as  environmentalists.

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Hancock called it a "win-win-win for environmentalists, business interests, and local governments" and said its passage showed "what strange bedfellows can accomplish when they work together.”

The recycling program will be operated by an industry group, which will be financed by a still-to-be-determined fee paid by mattress buyers. The concept is similar to existing recycling practices for paint, tires and electronic waste.

"I applaud the efforts of the authors in creating a program to lessen impacts in California landfills, reduce costs to local governments and remove blight in rural and inner-city neighborhoods," Brown said in a signing statement.

However, he noted that the bill contains ambiguous language that could be interpreted as limiting the authority of the state Department of Conservation to operate the program.

He directed his administration to work with the bill's authors to pass clarifying legislation next year.


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