Bill Memo: Mattress Recycling and Extended Producer Responsibility

2 Tree: Substantial benefit rating

Summary

This bill amends the Environmental Conservation Law (ECL) to enact a statewide mattress collection program and require mattress producers to establish plans for mattress recycling.

Explanation

The Climate Action Council Scoping Plan recommends expanding Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) or product stewardship requirements to cover a broader range of postconsumer products to enhance sustainable management and waste reduction efforts. Building on successful EPR legislation and programs already in place in New York for various products, extending these principles to cover additional items can yield significant environmental benefits.

Legislation to establish an EPR program exclusively for mattresses is a logical next step for New York, given the significant environmental impact of discarded mattresses and the success of similar programs in other states. By shifting responsibility from local governments to manufacturers, EPR legislation encourages producers to prioritize recyclability from the outset, thus reducing waste and promoting a circular economy.

With over one million mattresses discarded annually in New York State alone, implementing a recycling program could divert a substantial amount of material from landfills and incineration. Recycling mattresses can yield valuable materials like steel, wood, cotton, and foam, which can be repurposed into various products, reducing the strain on natural resources, and minimizing greenhouse gas emissions associated with manufacturing.

The success of EPR mattress programs in states like Connecticut, California, Rhode Island, and Oregon underscores the effectiveness of such initiatives in increasing recycling rates and reducing waste. Collectively, these programs have diverted millions of mattresses from disposal, resulting in significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and resource depletion.
Overall, implementing an EPR program for mattresses could play a crucial role in addressing climate change by promoting waste reduction and resource conservation. It aligns with the broader goals of sustainability and environmental stewardship, offering a tangible solution to mitigate the adverse impacts of consumer products on the planet.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit

Memo #: 57