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California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery
It Has Not Provided the Oversight Necessary to Ensure That the Mattress Recycling Program Fulfills Its Purpose

Report Number: 2018-107

Figure 1

The title of Figure 1 is California’s Waste Management Hierarchy Prioritizes Source Reduction.

This is a figure representing California’s waste management priorities as these priorities apply to mattresses. It is a gauge showing that California’s approach prioritizes source reduction above other methods of waste disposal. The figure provides examples of source reduction such as mattress manufacturers using fewer nonrecyclable materials in mattresses and the renovation of mattresses by replacing the mattress filling. After source reduction, the next highest priority for California’s waste management is recycling. The figure provides examples of recyclable materials such as steel and wood components of mattresses. The steel coils from mattresses can be melted down and used in making new steel products, and mattress box springs’ wood frames can be shredded and used as mulch. Following recycling, California’s waste management lists transformation which is the incineration of a contaminated mattress box spring’s wood frame and land disposal, which is the discarding of a mattress at a landfill. The source of this figure is California’s Public Resources Code, information from CalRecycle’s website, and the Mattress Council’s 2017 annual report.

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Figure 2

The title of Figure 2 is The Mattress Program Received Most Mattresses Through Permanent Drop-Off Sites in 2017.

This figure represents four methods by which mattresses were collected into the mattress recycling program in 2017. Permanents drop-off sites and recyclers accounted for 68.0 percent of all mattresses collected by the program. Next, retailer used mattress take-back accounted for 28.2 percent of mattresses collected. This method, established by state law, requires retailers to offer consumers the option to have their old mattress picked up for free upon purchase of a new mattress. Third, large quantity institutions collected 3.1 percent of the program’s collected mattresses. These institutions include hotels, educational facilities, and other institutional purchasers of mattresses that may drop‑off their discarded units at any Mattress Council‑contracted recycling facility. Finally, collection events accounted for under 1 percent of the total mattresses the program collected. The source of this figure is the Mattress Council’s 2017 annual report.

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Figure 3

The title of Figure 3 is The Mattress Council Could Improve the Convenience of the Mattress Program for Residents in the San Francisco Bay Area.

This figure is a map of the San Francisco Bay Area overlaid with a graphical representation of the population dispersion of people living in the region and the convenience with which they can access one of the Mattress Council’s permanent drop-off sites for free mattress disposal. The map displays all or part of San Francisco, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, and Marin counties. In total, 700,000 Bay Area residents live farther than 30 minutes from a permanent drop-off site. The largest pockets of residents without convenient access to a drop-off site are located in Marin County and eastern Contra Costa County. The 30-minute service area shown in this map is based on street lengths and speeds without adjustments for traffic. The source of this figure is an analysis of permanent-drop off site locations as of June 2018, provided by the Mattress Council.

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