Conshohocken, Pennsylvania – Furniture retailer Ikea has announced a recycling programme for all of the used mattresses it collects in the US. This includes mattresses of any brand that are picked up when new Ikea mattresses are delivered to customers, and all mattresses returned to Ikea stores.
They will be transported to a local recycler for sorting and recycling, with the ultimate goal of generating zero waste to landfill.
‘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, sustainability manager at Ikea US.
The company did not work with the US Mattress Recycling Council, which operates the regulated Bye Bye Mattress scheme in California, Connecticut and Rhode Island, when designing its own scheme. There are several reasons for this, an Ikea spokeswoman told UTECH-polyurethane.com.
Bye Bye Mattress mandates retailers in to collect a fee for each mattress at point of sale from customers, which is used by MRC to fund the infrastructure for recyclers, she said, while in California, retailers must offer a free pick-up of a used mattress.
‘Consumers or businesses can bring mattresses to select locations and recycle them for free,’ she said. ‘However, it does not cover transportation costs if retailers choose to take mattresses they pick up from customers to a recycler. Nor does it cover transportation of mattresses from our operations if we choose to take them to a recycler. We have taken both of these costs and initiatives on our own in California.’
MRC does not mandate recycling, she added, although they are trying to encourage it. ‘The program we have developed is based on IKEA in the US wanting to take leadership in this area, which at present comes at a cost,’ she said.
The scheme has been several years in the planning, the spokeswoman said. ‘At a minimum, we know that we will save 41,000 mattresses or more, depending on how many mattresses are returned and/or picked up from customers,’ she said. There will be a fee of about $25, except in California where the regulations state that it must be cost-free to the consumer.