San Diego's new free mattress recycling program fit for a king … or a queen or a twin

The program soft-launched in July; more than 2,000 items have already been collected

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San Diego's Environmental Services Department unveiled its free Bye Bye Mattress disposal program at the Miramar Landfill on Wednesday

The new program, in conjunction with the Mattress Recycling Council, allows San Diegans to drop off mattresses and box springs at the new collection site, located on the east side of the entrance of the landfill on Convoy Street.

"The MRC Bye Bye Mattress program moves us another step closer toward our city's goal of Zero Waste," said Councilman Joe LaCava, chair of the council's Environment Committee. "By introducing mattress recycling, we also continue our progress toward our climate action goals. This new program will benefit residents and strengthen our city's sustainability objectives through waste reduction."

The MRC is a nonprofit organization created by the mattress industry that operates programs in states with mattress recycling laws.

"We are thrilled to announce our participation in MRC's Bye Bye Mattress program," said Matthew Cleary, assistant director of the city's Environmental Services Department. "By dropping off mattresses and box springs at our new collection site, San Diegans are helping reduce waste, as the city collects these bulky items to be recycled instead of them ending up in the landfill, or worse, on the side of the road."

According to a city statement, the Bye Bye Mattress program is funded through a $10.50 recycling fee collected when a mattress or box spring is purchased in California. The fee is used to establish free drop-off locations and collection events throughout the state, and transport collected units from these sites to companies that dismantle the discarded products and recycle the materials. The materials are broken up into four main components -- steel, foam, fibers and wood -- which are used to make new products such as carpet padding, construction rebar, insulation, filters and mulch.

"We're thankful to the city of San Diego for joining our collection network and helping us make recycling used mattresses easier for residents," said Mike O'Donnell, MRC's chief operating officer. "Together, this impressive network is collecting more than one million mattresses each year that are recycled right here in California."

NBC 7 spotted several people dropping off mattresses at the new collection site. Bedding, matress toppers and bed frames are not being accepted at this location in the dump. The program soft-launched in July; more than 2,000 items have already been collected.

Mattress collection hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday with the site closed on Saturdays and Sundays. Recyclers can drop off up to 10 items per trip.

Mattresses and box springs must not be severely damaged, wet, twisted, frozen, soiled or infested with bedbugs, a city statement reads.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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