Today, April 22, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. What a milestone.
It is fitting that while Earth Day has reached this auspicious milestone, the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) reached an environmental milestone of its own: recycling more than six million mattresses in less than five years through its Bye Bye Mattress program. Six million mattresses equate to more than 210 million pounds of material diverted from landfills by MRC’s recyclers. Laid end to end, these mattresses would span over 7,000 miles from coast to coast and back again.
MRC is a nonprofit organization formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs in three states with mattress recycling laws: Connecticut, Rhode Island and California. Bye Bye Mattress’ robust statewide mattress collection, transportation and recycling programs are funded by point of sale fees on new mattress sales. Old mattresses are collected through a variety of channels at no-cost, offering consumers and businesses recycling solutions, including retailer take-back, collection events and no-cost drop off at hundreds of participating solid waste transfer stations and landfills.
In May 2015, Connecticut became the first state to pass legislation creating a statewide mattress recycling program in the U.S., another milestone. By the end of 2019, MRC recycled over 775,000 mattresses from Connecticut communities, diverting over 13,000 tons of valuable materials from the waste stream for use in new products.
Mattress recycling operations continue in Connecticut as an essential service during the COVID-19 pandemic. MRC and Bye Bye Mattress thank all our recycling partners and their workers who continue to do their part to improve Connecticut’s environment during this trying time.
While celebrating this year’s Earth Day may look and feel different, it is important to remain vigilant in our efforts to clean our environment and recognize the positive contributions that recycling makes for our planet.
Justine Fallon is the director of operations for the Mattress Recycling Council.