Senator Loni Hancock (D-Oakland) has introduced a bill to create a recovery and recycling program for used and unwanted mattresses.
“Illegally dumped mattresses are a terrible blight on our communities,” Senator Hancock said, who introduced SB 1118 this week. “They not only deface a neighborhood but they can become a health hazard and a breeding ground for mold and pests.
“The risk these mattresses pose is not limited to the health of our citizens,” Hancock said. “Cash-strapped cities are forced to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars collecting and disposing of abandoned mattresses. That’s money that could be better spent on fixing our streets and other vital services for the community.”
Hancock announced the bill at a press conference at a dumping site in West Oakland, next to a truckload of abandoned mattresses that had been collected by Oakland Public Works.
There is currently no law addressing the problem of illegally dumped mattresses. Oakland collects between 18- 35 mattresses per day at a cost of about half a million dollars per year.
“SB 1118 creates an opportunity for better behavior to stop the disrespectful practice of illegal dumping in our communities. We strongly support and appreciate Senator Hancock’s introduction of SB 1118,” said Oakland Vice Mayor Nancy Nadel, speaking at the press conference.
The law requires mattress manufacturers to pick up mattresses bearing their brand name at no cost to the consumer. It also requires mattress retailers to offer free pickup of a used mattress anytime a consumer buys a new mattress.
In addition, as an alternative to the pickup program, a mattress manufacturer can pay $25 per mattress sold in the state so that CalRecycle can set up a state program to recover and recycle used mattresses across California.