TITLE 23
Health and Safety

CHAPTER 23-90
Responsible Recycling, Reuse and Disposal of Mattresses

SECTION 23-90-5


§ 23-90-5 Mattress stewardship plan.

(a) On or before July 1, 2015, the mattress stewardship council shall submit a mattress stewardship plan for the establishment of a mattress stewardship program to the corporation director for approval.

(b) The plan submitted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall, to the extent it is technologically feasible and economically practical:

(1) Identify each producer's participation in the program;

(2) Describe the fee structure for the program and propose a uniform stewardship fee that is sufficient to cover the costs of operating and administering the program;

(3) Establish performance goals for the first two (2) years of the program;

(4) Identify proposed recycling facilities to be used by the program, such facilities shall not require a solid waste management facilities license;

(5) Detail how the program will promote the recycling of discarded mattresses;

(6) Include a description of the public education program;

(7) Describe fee-disclosure language that retailers will be required to prominently display that will inform consumers of the amount and purpose of the fee; and

(8) Identify the methods and procedures to facilitate implementation of the mattress stewardship program in coordination with the corporation director and municipalities.

(c) Not later than ninety (90) days after submission of the plan pursuant to this section, the corporation shall make a determination whether to:

(1) Approve the plan as submitted; or

(2) Deny the plan.

(d) The corporation director shall approve the plan for the establishment of the mattress stewardship program, provided such plan reasonably meets the requirements of this section. Prior to making such determination, the corporation director shall post the plan for at least thirty (30) days, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedures Act" as set forth in chapter 35 of title 42 on the corporation's website and solicit public comments on the plan to be posted on the website.

(e) In the event that the corporation director denies the plan, the corporation director shall provide a notice of determination to the council, within sixty (60) days, detailing the reasons for the disapproval. The council shall revise and resubmit the plan to the corporation director not later than forty-five (45) days after receipt of notice of the corporation director's denial notice. Not later than forty-five (45) days after receipt of the revised plan, the corporation director shall review and approve or deny the revised plan. The council may resubmit a revised plan to the corporation director for approval on not more than two (2) occasions. If the council fails to submit a plan that is acceptable to the corporation director, because it does not meet the criteria pursuant to subdivisions (b)(1-8), the corporation director shall have the ability to modify the submitted plan and approve it. Not later than one hundred twenty (120) days after the approval of a plan pursuant to this section, the council shall implement the mattress stewardship program.

(f) It is the responsibility of the council to:

(1) Notify the corporation director whenever there is a proposed substantial change to the program. If the corporation director takes no action on a proposed substantial change within ninety (90) days after notification of the proposed change, the proposed change shall be deemed approved.

For the purposes of this subdivision, "substantial change" shall include, but not be limited to:

(i) A change in the processing facilities to be used for discarded mattresses collected pursuant to the program; or

(ii) A material change to the system for collecting mattresses.

(2) Not later than October 1, 2017, the council shall submit to the corporation director for review, updated performance goals that are based on the experience of the program during the first two (2) years of the program.

(g) The council shall notify the corporation director of any other changes to the program on an ongoing basis, whenever they occur, without resubmission of the plan to the corporation director for approval. Such changes shall include, but not be limited to, a change in the composition, officers, or contact information of the council.

(h) On or before July 1, 2015, and every two (2) years thereafter, the council shall propose a uniform fee for all mattresses sold in this state. The council may propose a change to the uniform fee more frequently than once every two (2) years if the council determines such change is needed to avoid funding shortfalls or excesses. Any proposed fee shall be reviewed by an independent auditor to ensure that such assessment does not exceed the costs of the mattress stewardship program described in subsection (b) of this section and to maintain financial reserves sufficient to operate the program over a multi-year period in a fiscally prudent and responsible manner. Not later than sixty (60) days after the council proposes a mattress stewardship fee, the auditor shall render an opinion to the corporation director as to whether the proposed mattress stewardship fee is reasonable to achieve the goals set forth in this section. If the auditor concludes that the mattress stewardship fee is reasonable, then the proposed fee shall go into effect not less than ninety (90) days after the auditor notifies the corporation director that the fee is reasonable. If the auditor concludes that the mattress stewardship fee is not reasonable, the auditor shall provide the council with written notice explaining the auditor's opinion. Not later than fourteen (14) days after the council's receipt of the auditor's opinion, the council may either propose a new mattress stewardship fee, or provide written comments on the auditor's opinion. If the auditor concludes that the fee is not reasonable, the corporation director shall decide, based on the auditor's opinion and any comments provided by the council, whether to approve the proposed mattress stewardship fee. Such auditor shall be selected by the council. The cost of any work performed by such auditor pursuant to the provisions of this subsection and subsection (i) of this section shall be funded by the council.

(i)(1) On and after the implementation of the mattress stewardship program, each retailer shall add the amount of the fee established pursuant to subsection (b) of this section and described in subsection (h) of this section to the purchase price of all mattresses sold in this state. The fee shall be remitted by the retailer to the council. The council may, subject to the corporation director's approval, establish an alternative, practicable means of collecting or remitting such fee.

(2) On and after the implementation date of the mattress stewardship program, no producer, distributor or retailer shall sell or offer for sale a mattress to any person in the state if the producer is not a member of the council.

(3) No retailer or distributor shall be found to be in violation of the provisions of this section, if, on the date the mattress was ordered from the producer or its agent, the producer of said mattress was listed on the corporation's website in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(j) Not later than October 1, 2016, and annually thereafter, the council shall submit an annual report to the corporation director. The corporation director shall post such annual report on the corporation's website. Such report shall include, but not be limited to:

(1) The weight of mattresses collected pursuant to the program from:

(i) Municipal and/or transfer stations;

(ii) Retailers; and

(iii) All other covered entities;

(2) The weight of mattresses diverted for recycling;

(3) Identification of the mattress recycling facilities to which mattresses were delivered for recycling;

(4) The weight of discarded mattresses recycled, as indicated by the weight of each of the commodities sold to secondary markets;

(5) The weight of mattresses, or parts thereof, sent for disposal at each of the following:

(i) Rhode Island resource recovery corporation; and

(ii) Any other facilities;

(6) Samples of public education materials and methods used to support the program;

(7) A description of efforts undertaken and evaluation of the methods used to disseminate such materials;

(8) Updated performance goals and an evaluation of the effectiveness of the methods and processes used to achieve performance goals of the program; and

(9) Recommendations for any changes to the program.

(k) Two (2) years after the implementation of the program and upon the request of the corporation director, but not more frequently than once a year, the council shall cause an audit of the program to be conducted by the auditor described in subsection (h) of this section. Such audit shall review the accuracy of the council's data concerning the program and provide any other information requested by the corporation director. Such audit shall be paid for by the council. The council shall maintain all records relating to the program for not less than three (3) years.

(l) No covered entity that participates in the program shall charge for receipt of mattresses generated in the state. Covered entities may charge a fee for providing the service of collecting mattresses and may restrict the acceptance of mattresses by number, source or physical condition.

(m) Covered entities that, upon the date of this act's passage, have an existing program for recycling discarded mattresses may continue to operate such program without coordination of the council, so long as the entities are able to demonstrate, in writing, to the corporation director that the facilities to which discarded mattresses are delivered are engaged in the business of recycling said mattresses and the corporation director approves the written affirmation that the facility engages in mattress recycling of mattresses received by the covered entity. A copy of the written affirmation and the corporation's approval shall be provided to the council by the corporation director in a timely manner.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2013, ch. 281, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 423, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 126, § 1; P.L. 2015, ch. 249, § 1.)