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Mattress recycling would be more widely available under bill in Oregon legislature

Paul Lehman
A mattress lies abandoned along the side of a street in Salem.

Oregonians would have an easier time recycling their old mattress under a bill advancing through the state legislature.

The measure would require mattress manufacturers to create a recycling program funded by a fee put on the purchase of new mattresses. The idea is to keep mattresses out of landfills. Or, worse yet, the side of the road. It’s been a goal for several sessions for Sen. James Manning, D-Eugene.

“If you have driven down the street lately, or through one of our beautiful scenic routes here in the state of Oregon, and seen a mattress or box spring tossed along the highways, cluttering up our natural sources or waterways, this bill makes perfect sense," said Manning as he made his pitch for the bill to the Oregon Senate's Committee on Energy and the Environment.

Recycling organizations say that up to 85 percent of a typical mattress is recyclable. But relatively few places in Oregon currently accept them.

The committee voted Monday to send Senate Bill 1576 to the legislature's budget-writing committee, keeping it alive for the 2022 session.

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December, 2018 and became News Director in March, 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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