An estimated 18 million mattresses end up in America’s landfills each year, and ready-to-assemble furniture giant IKEA is doing something about it. The company announced this week that they’re rolling out a new mattress recycling initiative, a program that aims to reuse a discarded materials like steel, foam, and wool, from every discarded mattress.
When a new IKEA mattress is delivered to a customer, the customer can pay a small fee to have the old one properly recycled instead of simply throwing it away. The service will be free several times a year for IKEA Family members and free all year long in the state of California, where it’s required by law.
With an average of 50,000 mattresses a day ending up in US landfills, it’s not hard to see why conservation efforts are coming to the forefront.
IKEA’s US Sustainability Manager Lisa Davis said that the program was about “keeping with [the company’s] People and Planet Positive Sustainability,” and that they wanted to “take a lead in turning waste into resources.” “We are committed to securing recycled materials,” she said, “while ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled – all contributing to a closed loop society.”
Perhaps the best part of this program is that a minimum of 80% of each mattress can be recycled. In many cases, the entire mattress can be reused.
A mattress’s fabric and foam can be made in to carpet underlay, while the cotton and felt can be turned in to new insulation and felt. The wood frame is made in to recycled wood products, and the plastic and steel is turned into new products of those same materials. So if you’re looking for a new mattress and being environmentally conscious is important, your choice just got a little easier.
Beyond helping reduce landfill waste, IKEA is also making new efforts to provide for their communities. A campaign called “5,000 Dreams” will give refugee families in IKEA store neighborhoods beds and linens for a “clean start” as the company says. That program is funded by the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, the Ethiopian Community Development Council, and the International Rescue Committee.