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Providing A Solution For Hard-To-Dispose Of Items
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County officials are reminding residents that mattress disposal sites are available as a free resource, looking to cut down on the illegal dumping of mattresses in the region. Photo Contributed

Escalon’s new representative on the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors wants residents to know about an ongoing mattress disposal program available to them.

Robert Rickman, who – as a result of recent redistricting – now represents Escalon, Ripon, Tracy and Mountain House in Supervisorial District 5, is advocating use of a free countywide service.

“Few can argue the fact that we live in a hidden gem, a gateway to San Joaquin County from Silicon Valley and the Bay Area. We take pride in all that our area has to offer, and that pride extends to keeping our communities clean,” said Rickman. “Residents may not know that one of the largest items – mattresses – that folks are unsure of where to dispose properly, are actually one of the easiest items to recycle. Doing so keeps them out of the landfill, where they take up precious space and are hard to break down. More than 75 percent of a mattress can be recycled and made into other products.”

The process, Rickman explained, is accomplished by cutting open mattresses and separating them into their different components, including steel, foam, fibers and wood. The materials are then remade into carpet padding, appliances, mulch and more.

The Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program, which has operated in California since 2016, has helped divert more than seven million mattresses from landfills in the state, including more than 120,000 in San Joaquin County.

Two locations in Manteca and one in Tracy are among the Bye Bye Mattress program’s more than 220 permanent collection sites around California. These sites allow residents to drop off mattresses at no cost. Other eligible items include box springs and futons not attached to a frame.

The participating locations are: the Lovelace MRF & Transfer Station, 2323 E. Lovelace Road, open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Manteca City Recycling Division at 210 E. Wetmore Ave., open Monday through Friday 6 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.; and the Tracy Material Recovery Facility & Transfer Station at 30703 S. MacArthur Drive, open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

A recycling fee collected when a mattress or box spring is sold in California supports this program. The Mattress Recycling Council, a nonprofit formed by the mattress industry to operate programs like Bye Bye Mattress, uses the fee to establish no-cost drop-off locations, support communities with addressing hotspots for illegal mattress dumping and fund research that helps improve mattress recycling efficiency and develops more uses for recycled mattress products.

“San Joaquin County is a great place to live, raise a family and build a business. By working together and doing our part by recycling, we can continue to keep this gem sparkling,” Rickman said. “We all want to be good stewards of our environment and the County’s Bye Bye Mattress program is an important tool that assists residents with proper disposal of a mattress at no cost to them, avoiding the possibility of it adding to unsightly items illegally dumped along our roadsides.”