September 27, 2013 – California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law today a producer responsibility bill for post-consumer mattresses that calls for manufacturers to create and manage a mattress recycling program. The signing of SB 254 makes California the third state in the nation to address the end-of-life management of mattresses through product stewardship policy.
As part of his signing message to the members of the State Senate, Gov. Brown called for a “clean-up” of the bill’s “ambiguous” language during the next legislative session. Of concern to the governor is “language that appears to limit the regulatory authority of the Department (of Resources Recycling and Recovery) and the requirement that the Department reduce its administrative costs by the amount of penalties it collects.”
Under the provisions of the law, mattress manufacturers are required to create and manage a single mattress recycling organization that will provide recycling services to municipalities free of charge. The program will be financed by a visible state mattress recycling charge, or “eco-fee,” which will be collected from consumers at point-of-sale. The mattress recycling organization must submit a plan detailing the operations of the program to the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) on or before July 1, 2015.
Similar to laws passed in Connecticut and Rhode Island earlier this year, the stewardship organization will be required to establish performance goals for the first two years of the program, and to report on program results. After the first two years, the the mattress recycling organization will provide updated performance goals to CalRecycle on an annual basis. Only manufacturers who participate in the program will be permitted to sell mattresses in the state.
The law also requires the mattress stewardship council to reimburse costs for administration and oversight to CalRecycle. CalRecycle may promulgate emergency regulations necessary for implementation.
Source: Product Stewardship Institute