Grants supporting mattress collection sites across Franklin County

  • A mattress sits in a Dumpster at the Montague Transfer Station, which will become one of five regional collection sites for mattresses after Nov. 1. The state Department of Environmental Protection is requiring that mattresses be recycled. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

  • The Montague Transfer Station on Sandy Lane, which will become one of five regional collection sites for mattresses after Nov. 1. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 8/24/2022 5:44:01 PM
Modified: 8/24/2022 5:40:25 PM

The Franklin County Solid Waste Management District is preparing for the state Department of Environmental Protection’s ban on mattress disposal, set to go into effect Nov. 1, by creating five regional mattress collection stations across the county.

MassDEP’s Solid Waste Master Plan established a goal to reduce waste disposal statewide by 30% (from 5.7 million tons in 2018 to 4 million tons in 2030) over the next decade, according to the state’s website. In the latest step, mattresses and textiles are being added to the list of materials banned from trash.

Jan Ameen, executive director of the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District, applied for five grants — each for up to $10,000 — to pay for storage facilities at county transfer stations, where mattresses can be brought to later be recycled. She was awarded the grants in July and has approached Colrain, Bernardston, Deerfield, Montague and Wendell to host mattress collection sites for the county.

Each town was selected to serve their respective region. Colrain will serve West County, Bernardston will serve North County, Wendell will serve the North Quabbin region, Deerfield will serve South County, and Montague will serve the Montague, Gill and Erving communities. Orange and Greenfield’s transfer stations already own mattress recycling storage containers.

To accept the grants, Ameen said, each host town must allow the mattress collection site to become a regional location serving the residents of neighboring towns. Officials in Montague, Wendell and Colrain have already accepted their grants, and the towns have until Sept. 1 to sign on to the program.

Ameen said she approached the Gardner-based Raw Material Recovery Corporation to purchase storage containers for each town at a price of $5,200 apiece.

“Part of the reason to take the grant is you can get a box for the town. It costs $135 to rent the box each month otherwise,” Ameen noted.

The containers can hold between 34 and 45 mattresses depending on how well the mattresses are stacked.

“Stacking isn’t a big issue. We mostly get full or queens,” Ameen said. “We have some kings but not a majority.”

Currently, people can dispose of mattresses at any transfer station for $35. Ameen has recommended charging $30 per a mattress throughout the county, no matter the location.

The bills for the collection of the mattress storage containers — which will cost $325 to haul them from Colrain and Deerfield, and $225 to take them from Montague, Bernardston and Wendell, plus a fee of $15 per mattress — are set up to be paid by the Franklin County Solid Waste Management District. The organization will then send an invoice to the respective towns, Ameen said. After six months, the organization will give any excess money collected back to the host towns.

Each town may charge a host fee, adding an additional cost to non-resident users of the mattress recycling program. They are also able to decide if the transfer station attendants will stack the mattresses, or if users are expected to stack their recyclables themselves. Ameen explained she will put out educational material and signs at the five transfer stations regarding how to properly recycle and stack the mattresses.

Bella Levavi can be reached at or 413-930-4579.


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