SACRAMENTO—California's Bye Bye Mattress program has recycled more than 5 million mattresses since its establishment in 2016, preventing more than 7,500 tons of waste from going to a landfill.
About a third of the recycled material is foam.
"If these mattresses were laid end-to-end, they would span nearly 6,000 miles—enough to build a bridge from California to Hawaii and back," the Mattress Recycling Council said in a news release about the milestone. "By recycling these units, Bye Bye Mattress helped California save more than 6 million cubic yards of landfill space."
MRC said more than 80 percent of a mattress can be recycled and turned into new consumer and industrial products.
According to the release, the recycling process involves cutting open the mattress and separating the materials that can be used in other products. The foam, for instance, can be used recycled as carpet padding.
"California is a global leader in mattress recycling, as evidenced by this significant milestone achievement," Mike O'Donnell, managing director of MRC, said about California's efforts. "We continue to build on this leadership by growing no-cost mattress recycling options statewide and helping ensure a greener California."
Mattress recycling is offered in 58 California counties, and MRC said that 93 percent of the state's residents live within 15 miles of a drop-off location.
The program is funded by a recycling fee collected when a mattress or box spring is sold. That money is used to "establish free drop-off locations and collection events throughout the state, combat illegal dumping and to further research that improves mattress recycling and develops new uses for the materials," according to MRC.