SALEM — The Senate has approved Senate Bill 1576 on a vote of 18 to 7. This legislation establishes a program to collect and manage discarded mattresses. This program will be operated by a stewardship organization with oversight from the Department of Environmental Quality.

“There are no convenient ways for Oregonians to recycle their old mattresses. So most old mattresses end up in landfills or worse, on the side of the road,” said Senator James Manning (D-Eugene), co-chief sponsor of Senate Bill 1576, who carried the bill on the Senate floor. “This concept was brought to me by St. Vincent de Paul in my district — it is an excellent opportunity to reduce waste, as well as employ up to 100 Oregonians with intellectual and developmental disabilities.”

“We’re taking action and building on Oregon’s legacy of environmental protection,” said Senator Michael Dembrow (D-Portland), co-chief sponsor of Senate Bill 1576. “In 2009, Oregon became the first state in the nation to enact an environmental stewardship program for paint products. Oregon has led on product stewardship programs for discarded electronics and unused medicines. This legislation will protect our environment, conserve resources and create meaningful jobs.”

The bill establishes a statewide mattress product stewardship program for the recovery and recycling of used mattresses. The measure requires the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to certify a stewardship organization to implement and administer the program, which would be financed by an assessment at the point of sale. The amount of the assessment must be proposed by the organization and approved by DEQ. Producers, renovators, and retailers would be required to register with the stewardship organization and remit assessment funds to the organization. The organization would be required to provide free collection and recycling service throughout the state.

The bill now goes to the House.