IKEA U.S. Launching National Mattress Recycling Program

An estimated 18 million mattresses with box springs are disposed in the United States annually, which causes about 50,000 mattresses to be disposed in landfills daily across the country. And some mattresses are illegally dumped, adding to landfill waste.

IKEA U.S. announced Oct. 2 it will be recycling all of its used mattress as part of its sustainability strategy of "waste to resources." The company said this will include old mattresses of any brand that are picked up when new IKEA mattresses are delivered, as well as all returned mattresses at IKEA stores. (The company's news release said the service is offered for a fee of approximately $25, except in California, where the service is required to be offered for free by the state due to a state regulation, and it is offered in all stores; also, there are times throughout the year when this service is offered for free if the customer is an IKEA Family member, and mattress removal service is not offered via ecommerce.)

The company said the goal of this initiative is zero waste to landfill with as much recycling as possible. Its release notes that an estimated 18 million mattresses with box springs are disposed in the United States annually, which causes about 50,000 mattresses to be disposed in landfills daily across the country. And some mattresses are illegally dumped, which adds to landfill waste. IKEA said mattresses "need to be recycled to conserve resources such as steel, foam, and wood that is able to be used in new products."

"In keeping with our People and Planet Positive Sustainability strategy, IKEA has decided to take a lead in turning waste into resources. We are committed to securing recycled materials while ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled – all contributing to a closed-loop society,” said Lisa Davis, the IKEA U.S. Sustainability manager.

According to the company, at least 80 percent of a mattress can be recycled: The fabric and foam can be turned into carpet underlay, the felt and cotton can be recycled into new felt and insulation, the wood is recycled into biofuel or other recycled wood products, and the plastic and steel are recycled or turned into new products.

IKEA reported it has also created a community donation program named 5,000 Dreams that focuses on supporting newly arrived refugee families in local IKEA store communities. Through three partner refugee organizations, IKEA has started to donate beds and bedding – 5,000 in total in the next two years - to refugee families who are making fresh starts with their families. The three established refugee organizations are the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the International Rescue Committee, and the Ethiopian Community Development Council.

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