SAN LEANDRO (KPIX 5) – A quarter of a million old mattresses are piling up in facilities across California amid a dispute involving the company that is supposed to recycle them.
Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) recently cut off a contract with Blue Marble Materials. In response, the company has entered arbitration, saying the council is to blame.
When KPIX 5 visited Blue Marble’s facility in San Leandro over the weekend, the doors were locked and an eviction notice was posted…
The San Leandro warehouse is one of three facilities Blue Marble has across the state. Blue Marble was contacted by the council to handle the 2 million plus mattresses that Californians discard each year.
MRC canceled the contract with Blue Marble in September.
The MRC is an industry-run organization that shepherds California’s industry-run mattress stewardship program. It is subjected to oversight by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, which is a state agency, but the MRC is not part of state government.
In an interview with KPIX 5 over FaceTime, Blue Marble CEO Tchad Robinson said the cancellation happened without warning or notice.
“It just showed very little regard for the lives that are impacted by it, they weren’t interested in hearing a response,” Robinson said. “They provided three reasons for the termination and they were all very disprovable, factually disprovable.”
In a statement about canceling the contract, the Mattress Recycling Council said Robinson’s company “has consistently failed to meet its recycling targets and has not been able to provide accurate information about the number of mattresses it collected and recycled.”
Robinson claims in arbitration that the council, claiming it owes him more than $2 million in unpaid invoices, money that could pay rent or any of his 150 now jobless employees.
“I’d like the contract to be reinstated. I’d like for the damages to be addressed, that they’ve caused to our company and employees and my business. And I would like the opportunity to fulfill our plan,” Robinson said.