Bakersfield retailer Valley Mattress will pay $63,034 in penalties and back payments for collecting customer recycling fees, then failing to submit them to California’s mattress recycling program. The retailer also did not provide requested compliance records to state inspectors as required by California’s Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act (mattress recycling law).
If Valley Mattress violates California’s mattress recycling law over the settlement term of three years, it will pay an additional $49,098 in penalties.
“California’s mattress recycling law has kept over 7 million mattresses from littering our streets and filling our landfills,” California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) Director Rachel Machi Wagoner said. “Mattresses are highly recyclable and contain materials that can be made into new products, supporting California’s move to a more circular remanufacturing economy with less trash pollution and more green jobs.”
Mattress recycling reduces the costs of illegally dumped mattresses
California’s mattress recycling law requires the industry to develop and administer a statewide program that collects and recycles used mattresses. The goal of the program is to recycle used mattresses to reduce illegal dumping and landfilling.
In California, the state-certified industry stewardship organization composed of manufacturers, renovators, and retailers is the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC).
In addition to registering with MRC, California mattress retailers are required to:
- Add a mattress recycling charge to the purchase price of each mattress/futon
- Clearly display the charge as a separate line item on the invoice/receipt
- Offer consumers the option of having their used mattress picked up at no additional cost when their new mattress is delivered
- Provide CalRecycle access to facilities and relevant compliance records
CalRecycle launched an initial enforcement action against Valley Mattress in March of 2018 for not providing compliance records to state inspectors. The retailer did not comply during a subsequent inspection and follow-up enforcement actions, prompting CalRecycle to file an administrative accusation.
As part of a settlement, Valley Mattress will verify its renewed compliance with all mattress recycling law requirements, pay civil penalties to CalRecycle, and pay delinquent consumer recycling fees to MRC.
Fast Facts: California’s Mattress Stewardship Program
- The Mattress Recycling Council has operated California’s mattress recycling program since 2014.
- Historically, the bulky nature of mattresses and the lack of affordable, convenient recycling options resulted in a high number of mattresses illegally dumped, at substantial cost to California communities.
- Used mattresses are highly recyclable (between 75-90 percent of each mattress by weight).
- Mattress components can be recycled into a number of products, including carpet, oil filters, appliances, building materials, and landscaping.
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