California was the third state in the nation to pass a mattress stewardship law, the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act (Public Resources Code Sections 42985-42991), which established an industry-run statewide mattress recycling program to promote proper end-of-use management and increase recovery of valuable resources. This page provides information on the mattress stewardship law and its implementation.
Introduction to California’s Mattress Stewardship Law
It is estimated that millions of mattresses and box springs reach the end of their lives in California every year. The bulky nature of mattresses and the limited recycling of used mattresses results in significant illegal dumping costs to many local jurisdictions throughout the state.
The Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act supports a statewide effort to reduce the landfilling or illegal dumping of mattresses by establishing an end-of-use management program to encourage the recycling and recovery of discarded mattresses.
Key Elements of Law
Chapter 388, Statutes of 2013 [Hancock, SB 254] set forth the requirements of the statewide Mattress Stewardship Program.
Chapter 371, Statutes of 2014 [Hancock, SB 1274] clarified definitions, report submittals, and record keeping requirements.
Chapter 673, Statutes of 2019 [Garcia, AB 187] amended definitions, plan, budget, and annual reporting components, and added additional baseline and goal requirements. Below are basic descriptions of key elements of the law.
The purpose of the Mattress Stewardship Program is to reduce the number of mattresses discarded to landfills, reduce illegal dumping of mattresses, and increase mattress recycling.
- “Mattress” means a resilient material or combination of materials that is enclosed by a ticking, is used alone or in combination with other products, and is intended for or promoted for sleeping upon. This includes a foundation and a renovated mattress or renovated foundation.
- “Manufacturer” means the person who manufactures a mattress and who sells, offers for sale, or distributes a mattress in the state. If there is no person who is a manufacturer of a mattress for purposes mentioned, the manufacturer is the person who imports the mattress into the state for sale or distribution.
- “Retailer” means a person who sells mattresses in the state or offers to a consumer a mattress in the state through any means, including, but not limited to, by remote offering, including sales outlets or catalogs, electronically through the Internet, by telephone, or through the mail.
- “Renovator” means a person who renovates used mattresses for the purpose of sale, or offering for sale, in this state.
- “Consumer” means an owner of a mattress, including a person, business, corporation, limited partnership, nonprofit organization, or governmental entity, and including the ultimate purchaser, owner, or lessee of a mattress.
- “Mattress recycling organization” means a non-profit organization created by a qualified industry association to implement the mattress stewardship program.
- “Solid waste facility” means a facility that accepts, under normal operating conditions, used mattresses for collection, storing, and handling, whether for recycling or disposal.
In very basic terms, a mattress recycling organization, established by a qualified industry organization, designs and manages its own stewardship program, including program funding. It prepares and implements a used mattress recovery and recycling plan to reach certain goals and reports annually to CalRecycle on its progress. CalRecycle approves plans and annual budgets, sets goals, checks progress, and provides oversight and enforcement to ensure a level playing field among program participants.
A used mattress recovery and recycling plan, commonly referred to as a stewardship plan, outlines how a mattress recycling organization intends to fulfill its responsibilities under the law and communicates a course of action to stakeholders and the public. Plans submitted to CalRecycle will be posted at CalRecycle’s Mattress Stewardship Plans webpage.
The mattress recycling organization funds the Mattress Stewardship Program through the collection of a mattress recycling charge added to the purchase price of new and renovated mattresses sold in California. The amount of the mattress recycling charge must be approved by CalRecycle as part of the plan and budget approval process and shall be sufficient to meet the cost of carrying out the plan including administrative, operational, and capital costs.
Enforcement and Compliance
Maintaining a level playing field among program participants is addressed through a combination of civil penalties for noncompliance and transparency that allows all stakeholders and the public to evaluate progress. The mattress recycling organization must develop and implement a CalRecycle-approved stewardship plan, annual budgets, annual reports on the progress of their program, and reimburse CalRecycle’s direct costs to oversee and enforce this law. See CalRecycle’s EPR Compliance webpage for more information.
The mattress recycling organization, recyclers, renovators, and solid waste facilities are required to submit annual reports to CalRecycle.
Annual reports required of the mattress recycling organization include, but are not limited to, information on the mattress recycling organization’s cost and revenues, the quantity of mattresses disposed of in solid waste landfills and recycled in the program, the quantity of each category of materials recycled and the uses for those recycled materials, a description of methods used to collect, transport, and process used mattresses in the state, examples of educational materials that were provided to consumers, the total volume, number, and weight of used mattresses collected recycled, renovated, and reused in this state during the preceding calendar year including any conversion factors used to determine the number of mattresses recovered, and a report by the advisory committee. Annual reports are due to CalRecycle July 1, 2017 and each year thereafter. CalRecycle reviews annual reports within the context of statutory and regulatory requirements and identifies deficiencies in the reports.
Reports required of recyclers and renovators must include, but are not limited to, quantitative information on the number of mattresses received and recycled or renovated in the state during the preceding calendar year and any other information deemed necessary by CalRecycle. These reports must also be submitted to the mattress recycling organization. Annual reports are due May 1, 2017 and each year thereafter.
Reports from solid waste facilities are required to be submitted to CalRecycle and include quantitative information on the number of used mattresses received by that facility that were recycled, renovated, or disposed of within the state in the preceding calendar year. These reports must also be submitted to the mattress recycling organization. Annual reports are due May 1, 2017 and each year thereafter.
CalRecycle added clarity to certain components of the Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act through the rulemaking process. Regulations were approved on July 21, 2015 and became effective immediately. These regulations clarified provisions of the mattress stewardship law including, but not limited to:
- Used mattress recovery and recycling plan submittal and approval criteria;
- Mattress recycling organization annual budget and annual report submittal and approval criteria;
- Annual report compliance criteria for recyclers, renovators, and solid waste facilities; and
- Criteria and procedures for enforcement of the law.
If you would like to receive periodic e-mail notifications specific to Calrecycle's oversight of the Mattress Stewardship Program, subscribe to the CalRecycle's Mattress Product Stewardship listserv. Previous listserv messages can be found at the mattress listserv archive.