The Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) is a U.S. non-profit organization) formed in 2014 by the mattress industry to operate recycling programs in states which have enacted mattress recycling laws. MRC educates the mattress industry and consumers about these mattress recycling laws and works closely with local governments, waste management professionals, recyclers and others to create an accessible and efficient mattress collection and recycling network.
Now in its seventh year of operation, mattress recycling programs have grown steadily. To date, MRC recyclers have processed over 7.5 million mattresses. Recycling rates presently exceed 75% by weight. With growth, new challenges and opportunities have emerged. On the legislative front, the industry works closely with several states considering new laws to further expand durable goods recycling programs. Statistics show that recycler performance and productivity has improved. However, even greater progress is needed to address the increasing expectations of government organizations, regulators and environmental groups.
MRC established a research program in 2018. Its main purpose is to catalyze the development of technology to 1) increase the productivity and throughput of contracted mattress recyclers and 2) to create greater demand for materials extracted from mattress recycling processes. In its first year of operation, research was mostly focused on developing opportunities to increase recycling rates and addressing industry pain points. In subsequent years, MRC sponsored a more diversified portfolio of research projects exploring alternative recycling technologies and developing new end use applications for recovered materials. Most recently, MRC has actively collaborated with other regions and with industry leaders in several initiatives aimed at creating greater circularity in the mattress industry.
Through both improved process efficiencies and expansion of the mattress recycling industry, MRC expects the number of mattresses recycled per year will continue to grow. To sustain this continued growth, MRC remains focused on developing new economically viable applications and products for recovered mattress materials.
In this presentation, MRC will briefly summarize its recycling activity, current legislative activity and research projects. An overview of the program plan for 2021 and 2022 will also be provided.