Contact: Dave Steuber
May 2, 2012
State Senator John Fonfara (D-Hartford) hailed passage in the state Senate today of a landmark bill that will create a stewardship program for discarded mattresses, a move that will have economic and environmental benefits in Hartford and other cities and towns throughout the state.
Senate Bill 89, An Act Establishing a Mattress Stewardship Program, now goes to the House of Representatives for a final vote. If signed into law, the mattress stewardship program would be the first of its kind in the country.
The legislation would require mattress manufacturers to form a council and to establish a program for disposal and, when possible, recycling of mattresses. The program must be approved by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
“This bill is a proactive effort to address the issue of mattress disposal and dumping in Hartford, which costs the city hundreds of thousands of dollars every year. Unlike some other towns, Hartford disposes of mattresses as part of regular garbage surface, at no extra charge. This has led to unsightly piles of mattresses on the side of the road, many from out of town,” said Senator Fonfara. “This bill will shift the cost of mattress disposal away from the City of Hartford and other municipalities, by requiring mattress manufacturers to set their own disposal program.”
The program shifts the costly burden of disposing of mattresses away from municipalities. According to the legislation, the council will develop a program to inform consumers about the plan and will set up mattress collection points. The bill also establishes a mattress stewardship fee to cover the cost of transporting and processing discarded mattresses by the mattress council.
In recent years, the City of Hartford has been faced with quarterly bills of as much as $109,000 just for mattress disposal. The expense of collecting, storing and disposing of mattresses amounts to an average cost to the city of $40 per unit.
The legislation specifies that recycling is the program’s preferred method of disposal when “technologically feasible and economically practical.” It also requires the mattress stewardship council to submit an annual report to the DEEP commissioner on the tonnage of mattresses collected by municipal transfer stations and retailers and the weight of mattresses diverted for recycling versus disposal at landfills and other facilities. The council is also responsible for educating the public about the program.
Chair: Finance, Revenue & Bonding
Vice Chair: General Law
Ranking Member: Program Review & Investigations
Legislative Office Building
Hartford, CT 06106-1591
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