- The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection will soon announce $500,000 in grants to help cities and towns start mattress recycling programs, in an effort to enhance a new recycling market and to save municipalities money.
- In Massachusetts, residents discard an estimated 600,000 mattresses a year, and two-thirds are collected and shipped out of state. That leaves 200,000 mattresses unloaded at the state's landfills and incinerators each year. Within five years, at least 50,000 of those will be recycled in Massachusetts.
- About 85% of the contents of a mattress and its box spring — the coils, foam, cotton, and wood — can be recycled.
Mattresses take up an excessive amount of space in landfills, and their metal coils damage shredding equipment. Therefore, recycling them is a simple, eco-friendly solution.
Newburyport, MA began one of the state's first mattress recycling programs last year and recycles 35 mattresses a month. City officials expect to save an estimated $4,000 this year, the Globe reported. The city charges residents $10 to collect mattresses for recycling or $15 for trashing them, and now the city recycles nearly twice as many mattresses as it sends to landfills.
Other states are starting programs, as well. In May, Connecticut became the first state to require companies to collect a fee on every sale of a mattress or box spring to subsidize a statewide recycling program. Next year, California and Rhode Island will start similar programs, and other states are considering comparable laws.