Mattress industry required to develop a way to collect and recycle mattresses in the state.
Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has signed into law House Bill 6437, a mattress stewardship bill. The bill passed the Connecticut state legislature in early May.
According to the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), Boston, this is the first law of its kind to be passed in the United States. According to the PSI, the law will result in an estimated $1.3 million cost savings for local governments, and will increase opportunities for recycling businesses in the state.
Connecticut government officials estimate that municipalities across the state manage more than 175,000 discarded mattresses each year. Despite the fact that up to 95 percent of the mattresses can be easily recycled, most mattresses collected in the state are shipped to out-of-state landfills or waste-to-energy facilities.
The law will require the mattress industry to develop a single stewardship organization that will provide free collection and recycling services to municipalities, which include storage containers for municipalities to aggregate mattresses at transfer stations. The program will be financed by a visible fee that mattress producers will pass onto retailers, who will then pass it on to consumers at point-of-sale. A stewardship plan will be submitted to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) by July 1, 2014.
The PSI says that the City of Hartford played a key role in the bill’s passage. Mayor Pedro Segarra introduced a resolution in support of product stewardship legislation for mattresses at the United States Conference of Mayors, which passed in June 2012. The Mayor and his staff led a Connecticut coalition in support of the bill and worked closely with PSI, the mattress industry, and other stakeholders to develop a solution.
Since 2010, PSI has worked with the city of Hartford, the Connecticut Product Stewardship Council, other Connecticut local governments and Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to bring this issue to the attention of the mattress industry and obtain support for action. PSI convened a series of stakeholder dialogue meetings with participants from across Connecticut and the country to promote mattress stewardship legislation in Connecticut, and provided technical assistance over the past three years.
PSI adds that the dialogue led to model legislation that provided the foundation for what is the state’s mattress recycling law.