At the end of 2015, California became the third state in the nation with a statewide recycling program for used mattresses and box springs. The program, known as Bye Bye Mattress, allows California residents to drop-off used mattresses at participating collection sites and recycling facilities for free.

The CR&R waste site in Perris at 1760 Goetz Road is the closest site to Idyllwild. Other sites can be found at

But local residents may bring mattresses to the Idyllwild Transfer Station. While CR&R is not able to recycle them at the site, they will accept them with no additional charge, according to Alex Braicovich, CR&R senior regional vice president.

Bye Bye Mattress is administered by the Mattress Recycling Council, a nonprofit organization the mattress industry established to develop and manage the recycling program mandated by law in 2013.

”This program is a cost-effective solution to a long-term problem,” said Ryan Trainer, MRC president, in a press release. “We developed California’s program to increase the recycling of used mattress materials by leveraging the existing waste-collection infrastructure.”

To date, the program has more than 40 solid-waste facilities as designated collection locations and many more are expected to join in early 2016. MRC also is working with mattress retailers, hotels, universities, health-care facilities and other public and private entities in California to divert mattresses from the solid-waste stream.

“The implementation of this mattress recycling program means discarded mattresses will be recycled in an environmentally sound manner, creating California jobs and resulting in cost savings for municipalities,” said Scott Smithline, director of California Department of Resourses Recycling and Recovering (CalRecycle). “This program mirrors similar programs being implemented in other states. We recognize the Mattress Recycling Council for their commitment to the success of this program and their leadership in getting this law passed.”

The program is funded through an $11 recycling fee collected when a mattress or box spring is sold to California consumers. Consumers will notice this fee as a separate line item on their receipt, according to the release. The fee is used to pay for transporting and recycling the discarded mattresses.

Other states with mattress recycling programs are Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Recycling Facts

Each year, 35 to 40 million new mattresses and box springs are sold in the United States, and at least 15 to 20 million used mattresses and box springs are discarded.

Fortunately, used mattresses are highly recyclable (between 80 to 90 percent of each mattress), and certain components, such as steel and polyurethane, have positive market value.

For example, the steel springs can be recycled as metal scrap and can be melted and used to make new appliances, building materials and other steel products.

The foam can be turned into carpet underlayment or animal bed padding. The wooden frames can be shredded to produce landscaping mulch. The cotton and other fiber can be used in industrial oil filters and other textile applications.