The Fireside Motel replaces the mattresses in each room every few years. What happens to the old mattresses is a logistical challenge that The Fireside co-operator Kristin Roslund has been tackling head on, especially since Yachats is a remote location.
“In the past, we have given the mattresses to employees or to local charities, like South Lincoln County Resources,” Kristin says. “But it is always a difficult issue with storage and transportation.”
State’s Mattress Stewardship
The state of Oregon has been tasked with implementing the Mattress Stewardship Act of 2022, which requires that mattress producers join a stewardship organization with an approved plan to develop, implement and administer a statewide program to finance, collect and environmentally manage discarded mattresses in Oregon, according to the state website.
The overall goal is to prevent illegal mattress dumping and to keep mattresses out of landfills, both of which are harmful to the environment. New mattress buyers will likely pay a fee in support of the stewardship program at the time of purchase. Other states with similar programs in place are Connecticut, Rhode Island and California.
Although the state program is still in its initial stages, Kristin reached out to Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality and volunteered to serve on the program’s Mattress Stewardship Advisory Committee, “because of my mass mattress purchasing/discarding expertise,” she recalls.
Kristin was approved and appointed in 2023. The committee was tasked with reviewing and giving feedback on the proposed stewardship program. “I wanted to make sure that the program they were proposing was going to actually be useful and practical for hotels, especially those in remote parts of our state.”
Dedicated To Reducing Waste
Because the state stewardship program is not in place yet, Kristin has other mattress recycling options in place, having secured a relationship with Furnish Hope in Bend. Furnish Hope takes donated used furniture and mattresses to provide household essentials to families in need. “I can send mattresses to them instead of recycling,” says Kristin, who thanks Les Schwab Tire Centers for donating transportation to help get these mattresses and soft chairs from Yachats to their intended new homes.
The Fireside Motel strives to provide superior quality mattresses, locally made, in excellent condition for guests. Purchased from a manufacturer in Tualatin, the mattresses are replaced every five to seven years. And it is Kristin’s hope that the state stewardship program will be up and running before the hotel’s next mattress replacement.
“Reducing waste is a paramount priority for us in all of our operations. We always aim to not be wasteful and to reuse as much as possible. Our relationship with charities to share our perfectly good items, and now to recycle items that we can’t rehome is a win-win for our operations and our values.”