On Feb. 4, the nonprofit organization Mattress Recycling Council, California (MRC) released a Request for Proposal (RFP) seeking vendors to process pocketed coils. Formed by the mattress industry, MRC operates California’s mattress recycling program. Of the 1.5 million mattresses and box springs MRC recycles each year in California, pocketed coils are removed from about 300,000 of them. Pocketed coils are a popular construction type for innerspring mattresses because they “isolate movement rather than transferring it across the whole mattress, which increases sleep comfort,” says Katherine Caddy, MRC’s operations coordinator.

Taking their name from the polypropylene pockets, or fabric sleeves, in which they are wrapped, pocketed coils contain individual spring coils that are 90% metal. But the PP fabric sleeves must first be removed before that metal can be taken and sold to scrap markets. The pockets are typically bound together with stitching or hot metal adhesives. Caddy noted that MRC is currently working to develop a pocketed coil recycling prototype machine to effectively separate the metal from the PP, “that we hope will be commercialized in the near future.”

According to the RFP, third-party contractors will deliver the pocketed coils in walking trailers, enclosed or open-top trailers, or end dumps. The processors will be responsible for the labor, expertise, and equipment necessary for unloading the pocketed coils, separating the PP from the metal, recycling the metal, and either discarding the PP or selling it, if possible. “The processor must have adequate space, proper ingress/egress for large collection vehicles and be prepared to off-load these containers within 30 minutes of arrival,” the RFP notes.

MRC is interested in entering into one or more 12-month contracts with a processor in each region in California (Northern, Central, and Southern). “This proposal will provide a temporary recycling solution for pocketed coils extracted from old mattresses in California and will increase the program’s overall recycling rate,” says Caddy.

The due date for interested parties to submit proposals is Feb. 19.

Photo credit: Mattress Recycling Council