Mattress Recycling in 2016Mattress Recycling in 2016<div class="ExternalClass43D92FD373DE4E28B40D616DB7BD760D"><p>Mattresses have been banned from garbage disposal at Metro Vancouver transfer stations since 2011, and should be recycled. They can be dropped off at the transfer stations for a $15 recycling fee. Many private companies will also pick up used mattresses for a fee, or exchange new-for-old at the time of purchase of a new mattress. By any of these routes, used mattresses go to a small number of recycling businesses operating within our region. </p><p>Approximately 165,000 mattresses are recycled each year in our region, of which approximately 60,000 are handled at Metro Vancouver transfer stations. This represents significant energy savings and greenhouse gas benefits. </p><p>An additional 32,000 mattresses and 59,000 bulky furniture items are picked up by municipalities, either through large item pick-up programs, or illegal dumping clean-up programs. As with other bulky furniture items, some mattresses are illegally dumped, and eventually collected by the city at the general taxpayer’s expense. The estimated cost to regional taxpayers of illegal dumping clean-up and bulky items pick-up programs for mattresses and bulky furniture is $5,000,000 per year. </p><p>Metro Vancouver believes it is important to implement a Provincial <a href="http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/recycling/product-stewardship" target="_blank">Extended Producer Responsibility</a> (EPR) Program for mattresses, which will require the recycling cost be incorporated in the purchase price, similar to other EPR programs such as beverage containers, electronics and batteries. </p><p>An EPR program would ensure: </p><ul><li>The cost for collection and recycling of mattresses and bulky furniture would be incorporated in the purchase price of the items, rather than being funded by municipal taxpayers. This could also reduce the potential for illegal dumping as businesses and residents would not need to pay extra to recycle mattresses.</li><li>The economic viability of recycling mattresses would not be impacted by fluctuating commodity markets for metal and other recovered materials.</li><li>The responsibility for recycling mattresses would be shifted to the original manufacturer, creating an incentive to incorporate environmental considerations in the original mattress design. </li></ul><p>The Ministry of Environment previously communicated its intent to implement EPR programs for mattresses and bulky furniture by 2017. EPR for mattresses are also recommended in the <a href="http://www.ccme.ca/files/current_priorities/waste/pn_1499_epr_cap_e.pdf" target="_blank">Canada-wide Action Plan for Extended Producer Responsibility</a> which seeks to harmonize EPR programs nationally. Metro Vancouver has recently written to the Minister of the Environment requesting implementation of an EPR program in British Columbia for mattresses and bulky furniture.</p></div>http://www.metrovancouver.org/metroupdate/PublishingImages/issue22-mattress.jpg2016-07-28T07:00:00ZGP0|#2d395db4-59c2-4bcd-8cf3-118afd214b4e;L0|#02d395db4-59c2-4bcd-8cf3-118afd214b4e|Issue 23;GTSet|#d14ffe11-45dc-48fb-8684-ff109cf15a74<div class="ExternalClassF04B0564BD23454BA4E2B0BB28B8AEBF"><p>​10 years is about the average time we keep our mattresses. What happens to them afterwards? Most are collected or dropped off to be recycled. Unfortunately some are tipped in alleyways. What can we do to encourage mattress recycling? </p></div>0