Santa Cruz is trying to decrease illegal dumping problem

Disposing of mattresses free of charge

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - School is out for summer and so are bulky items and mattresses, left behind by students moving out.

"Although it's helpful and it's sometimes nice to find good stuff on the street, we should really be cleaning that stuff up rather than just leaving it out there," said Santa Cruz resident Maggie O'Hara. 

To increase the chances of those items being recycled instead of ending up as litter or in a landfill, community members were able to drop them off free of charge Saturday at the Bye Bye Mattress program stationed in Santa Cruz. 

"As you fill up a big hole in the ground, you have to find another place to have a big hole in the ground,” said Rodney Clara with the Mattress Recycling Council. “So there's very few holes in the grounds in Santa Cruz and we don't want to add anymore landfills in Santa Cruz."

The drop off was good news to the Debolskes.

"I've had this one for 15 years because I didn't know how to get rid of it," said Tom Debolske, referring to his old mattress. 

"I've seen so many mattress on freeways and stuff I can't believe,” said Cathy Debolske. “There should be more options and resources to be able to drop off mattresses."

Officials said last June the city received more than 400 mattresses and box springs to be recycled, which would have cost more than $3,000 to transport. 

In conjunction with the Bye Bye Mattress program, the City of Santa Cruz Resource Recovery also picked up items left behind on curbs and streets.

"We take pretty much anything under the sun,” said Paul Soderstrom with Resource Recovery. “We put it where it belongs in a recycling center for stoves and refrigerators and things like that get recycled." 

If you missed out on the program this weekend the city also accepts box springs and mattresses free of charge Monday thru Saturday at the Resource Recovery Facility. 

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