HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Connecticut lawmakers are sending the governor a bill that would create a recycling program for old mattresses.
The state Senate passed legislation Thursday, 28-8, creating a nonprofit council of mattress producers and retailers that would develop a plan for managing discarded mattresses.
Foam, metal, cotton and wood inside mattresses is considered highly recyclable, but discarded mattresses are often difficult to disassemble and dispose of. The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities estimates that on any given day, there are 10,000 abandoned mattresses littered around the state.
The council must submit a plan for approval by the commissioner of energy and environmental protection by July 1, 2014.
The program mandated by the bill would preserve Connecticut's environment and save towns and cities the cost of disposing of discarded mattresses, said Sen. Edward Meyer, D-Guilford, co-chair of the Environment Committee.
The mattress recycling program is designed to be funded through a fee on all mattresses sold in the state. Proponents of the bill estimate the fee at $8 to $12 per mattress.
But Republicans raised concerns about the program's cost and what they described as its lack of government oversight.
Sen. Len Fasano, R-North Haven, said the bill cedes too much authority to the council of mattress companies without providing sufficient methods of legislative recourse.
And Sen. Scott Frantz, R-Greenwich, said the bill goes too far in regulating consumer behavior. He suggested it would be better to raise fines on dumping or produce public service announcements to raise awareness of the blight created by improperly discarded mattresses.
The bill was approved by the House earlier in the month. It must be signed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy before becoming law.
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