As Californians, we take great pride in our communities and work hard to keep them clean. That is why it can be tough when we come across illegal dumping of garbage and other bulky waste in our public spaces.
This ongoing issue is a challenge statewide but is one that we can do something about by raising awareness of convenient and no-cost options for residents to properly dispose of the items we encounter dumped along our streets. One such example is a mattress or box spring.
When it comes to the disposal of used mattresses, California residents benefit from a statewide mattress recycling program. Since 2016, the Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program has recycled unwanted mattresses at no cost to California consumers, diverting them from landfills and helping to deter illegal dumping.
Through mattress recycling, 75 percent or more of a used mattress can be broken down and used to make new products. Components such as steel, foam, wood and cotton are reclaimed and made into carpet padding, mulch, appliances and hundreds of other consumer and industrial products.
The Bye Bye Mattress program has made quite an impact since launching in California five years ago. Seven million mattresses have been recycled and more than 230 million pounds of valuable material have been diverted from the waste stream in the state. This is done by forming a vast collection network that includes local landfills and transfer stations, small and minority owned businesses and nonprofit organizations.
Do you have a mattress to dispose of? Throughout California there are more than 200 collection sites and 40 participating curbside bulky waste pick up programs. You can find the nearest collection site or event near you at ByeByeMattress.com.
Whether you purchase a mattress from a store or online, residents can also ask their retailer to pick up their old mattress during delivery of their new one. State law requires retailers to offer to take back an old mattress at no extra cost at the time of delivery if the consumer requests. Products eligible for recycling include traditional mattresses and box springs as well as futon mattresses that can be separated from their frame or base.
Throughout California, and in the Central Valley, illegal dumping is an ongoing issue we continue to combat. We can all do our part to help beautify our communities. This starts with disposing of your unwanted items properly and keeping them out of streets, alleyways and other public spaces.
Ray Leon is the Mayor of Huron and Alvaro Preciado is the Mayor Pro Tem of Avenal.
Catch the latest in Opinion
Get opinion pieces, letters and editorials sent directly to your inbox weekly!