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Five million mattresses have been recycled by the “Bye Bye Mattress” program in California since the program began in 2016, according to the Mattress Recycling Council (MRC). 

MRC established a collection event or collection site in all 58 counties, with three collection sites in Crescent City that have helped MRC reach this number — Unincorporated Del Norte County Bulky Item Pickup, Humboldt Moving and Storage and City of Crescent City Bulky Item Pickup. 

“We have program coordinators located throughout the state. [We’re] working on building relationships with the sites,” said Amanda Wall, manager of consumer communications. “It’s worth it to recycle your mattress.” 

If the five million mattresses collected were laid end-to-end, they would span nearly 6,000 miles — enough to build a bridge from California to Hawaii and back — according to the MRC. By recycling these units, “Bye Bye Mattress” helped California save more than six million cubic yards of landfill space. 

“California is a global leader in mattress recycling, as evidenced by this significant milestone achievement,” said Mike O’Donnell, managing director of MRC, which operates the Bye Bye Mattress program. “We continue to build on this leadership by growing no-cost mattress recycling options statewide and helping ensure a greener California.” 

The five million mattresses recycled to date in California through “Bye Bye Mattress” equate to more than 168 million pounds of material kept out of state landfills and recycled into new products or diverted for other uses including: 

— 84,318,480 pounds of steel 

— 26,344,803 pounds of foam 

— 26,853,401 pounds of cotton, quilt and other fibers 

— 21,978,631 pounds of wood 

— 8,883,028 pounds of other materials (cardboard, plastics, etc.) 

“Up to 80% of a mattress is recyclable… [We’re] doing a lot of work and how to make the recycling process more efficient,” Wall said. “There’s markets for the material, and it’s not going into landfill. You’re saving valuable resources as well.” 

When a mattress is recycled, it is cut open, the layers separated and interior materials organized by type for reuse. For example: the foam is recycled into carpet padding, the springs are used to make new appliances or other steel products, the fabric can be made into industrial filters and the wood from box springs is chipped for use as mulch or biomass fuel. 

“Bye Bye Mattress” operates through a state-wide network of permanent collection sites, public collection events and collaborations with solid waste providers, nonprofit organizations and small and minority-owned businesses. Collected mattresses are then transported from these sites to regional recyclers that dismantle and recycle mattress components. 

Mattresses are also delivered to recyclers through Retailer Take-Back and Commercial Volume Pickup programs. Mattress recycling through “Bye Bye Mattress” is offered in all 58 California counties and 93 percent of residents have access to the program within 15 miles or less, according to MRC. 

The program is funded through a recycling fee collected when a mattress or box spring is sold. MRC uses the fee to establish free drop-off locations and collection events throughout the state, combat illegal dumping and to further research that improves mattress recycling and develops new uses for the materials. 

Recology Del Norte residential customers in unincorporated Del Norte County north of Crescent City, residential customers and apartment/multifamily complexes in Crescent City and in unincorporated Del Norte County near Klamath can schedule bulky item pickup by calling (707) 464-4181 or filling out the following online request form at www.recology.com/recology-del-norte/bulky-items. 

Appointments can also be made with Humboldt Moving and Storage, located at 1528 Northcrest Dr., Crescent City, by calling 465-4914.  

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