In 2013, Connecticut became the first state to enact legislation, Public Act 13-42, requiring mattress manufacturers to establish a mattress recycling program.
Adrienne Houel, CEO and president of Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises Inc., has been involved in the development of green programs in Bridgeport for at least five years.
She also helped with the state’s new mattress recycling program, which begins Friday, May 1.
Greater Bridgeport Enterprises, in partnership with Family ReEntry/Fresh Start Enterprises, founded mattress recycling company Park City Green — the only nonprofit mattress deconstruction and materials recycling business of its kind in the Northeast.
On Wednesday, April 8, Houel discussed the new mattress recycling program during a Wilton Go Green press conference at Wilton Town Hall.
Since mattress recycling is a “very heavy” and “costly” task, said Houel, Greater Bridgeport Community Enterprises is offering a program to recycle Connecticut communities’ mattresses.
“It’s a very big incentive to get a large number of mattresses diverted from the waste stream, [and] for the communities in Connecticut, we’re going to be recycling all of these mattresses for free,” said Houel.
“Now, nothing is free in the world, is it? But for the municipalities, it will be.”
Houel said the law cuts the cost of mattress recycling by imposing an “echo fee” of $9 on all new mattress purchases, which will be “pooled to support the programs of deconstructing mattresses.”
According to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), mattress retailers will transfer the “echo fee” money to mattress manufacturers, who will use it to pay for transportation and recycling of unwanted mattresses.
Under the state’s new program, Houel said, Wilton may be one of the first communities to bring mattresses for deconstruction to Park City Green at 459 Iranistan Avenue in Bridgeport.
“We recycle all the component parts of a mattress and they will be sold back into manufacturing and industry for addition to products that need foam, wood, springs — metal and steel — and any other products that are in mattresses.”
According to the DEEP, other mattress recycling facilities in the Northeast include:
• Recyc-Mattresses Corp., 12 Eastern Park Road, East Hartford.
• Nationwide Mattress Recycling, Conigliaro Industries Inc., 701 Waverly Street, Framingham, Mass.
According to the Connecticut Mattress Stewardship Plan, the program accepts any mattress and mattress foundation or box spring. Excluded products include:
- Mattress pads;
- Mattress toppers;
- Sleeping bags;
- Car beds;
- Water beds;
- Air mattresses;
- Upholstered furniture that does not otherwise contain a detachable mattress;
- Juvenile products like carriages, baskets, dressing tables, strollers, playpens, infant carriers, lounge pads and crib bumpers.