Bye Bye Mattress Proves Success

Report highlights significant boost in mattress recycling across California

More than 4 million mattresses have been recycled in California by the Bye Bye Mattress program since it began in 2016, according to the recently released 2018 Annual Report from the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC). Key to the program’s success is ongoing efforts to increase program accessibility for all Californians, no matter where they live in the state. 

In 2018 alone, MRC reported more than 1.4 million mattresses were recycled, an increase of 11 percent from the year before. In addition, more than 80 percent of mattresses discarded in California are now being diverted from landfills, where they would otherwise take up valuable and limited space.

“The continued growth of the Bye Bye Mattress program demonstrates California is still a global leader in waste reduction at a time when the recycling industry is facing significant challenges,” said MRC’s Managing Director Mike O’Donnell. “Easy access to the Bye Bye Mattress recycling network is vital to program participation. We accomplish this through innovative collaborations with mattress retailers, solid-waste facilities and curbside collection programs. We also have non-profit partners, including: the California Conservation Corps, Goodwill Industries and Habitat for Humanity.”

MRC increased the number of no-cost permanent collection sites from 163 to 190 across the state in 2018. Bulky-item collection programs grew from nine to 40 and collection events increased from 74 to 97. Today, all of California’s 58 counties have access to mattress-recycling services.

In addition, MRC’s digital-mapping analysis shows that 93 percent of Californians live within 15 miles of the program’s collection network. Even in rural counties, access was measured at 79 percent. This accessibility is even greater when including mattress retailers that are required by law to offer to take back old mattresses during new product delivery.

“We are raising awareness among Californians that mattresses are recyclable and that no-cost recycling options exist throughout the state,” said O’Donnell. “Recycling mattresses keeps them out of landfills and off of our streets, alleys and other public spaces that are often targets of illegal dumping.”

MRC helps combat illegal dumping by participating in local and state taskforces as well as through the Illegally Dumped Mattress Collection Initiative. This program collects data on illegally dumped mattresses and uses these statistics to target affected communities. Each year, $1 million is budgeted to fund clean-up activities. 

“We are proud of the success of the California mattress recycling program,” said O’Donnell. “Through MRC, the mattress industry has demonstrated its commitment to environmental stewardship, fostering sustainability and a greener future.” 

MRC was formed by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs (known as Bye Bye Mattress) in states which have enacted mattress recycling laws — California, Connecticut and Rhode Island. Since its inception in 2016, the program has recycled more than 4 million mattresses in California through its network of partnerships with local governments, solid-waste facilities, non-profit organizations and small and minority-owned businesses throughout the state. 

For more information, visit  www.byebyemattress.com. The site contains an interactive map that helps locate drop-off locations, local clean-up events, instructions on how to schedule a pick up from Alameda County Industries and more. Locations where mattresses may be dropped off for recycling convenient to Alameda include: Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 9235 San Leandro Blvd., Oakland and The Salvation Army — Oakland, 601 Webster St.