WHAT’S THE MATTRESS RECYCLING FEE AND HOW DO I GET RID OF MY OLD BED?
And another reminder why you should be proud to live in California.
By: JLong | February 6, 2020
What is the mattress recycling fee and what is it for?
More than 80% of a used mattress’ components can be recycled, and still, more than 50,000 end up in landfills every year. The California Mattress Recycling Council (MRC) funds a recycling program through a state-mandated $10.50 recycling fee on each mattress, foundation, box spring, and adjustable base sold. The entire fee gets remitted to the MRC to help reduce California’s carbon footprint and the state’s unnecessary waste. Through this program and others around the country, the MRC recycles over one million mattresses annually.
However, please understand that the fee is calculated per piece. So, if the customer’s box spring or foundation comes in two pieces (e.g. a King Set), they are legally obligated to pay the fee for both pieces as well as the mattress. Ortho Mattress has no control over these government mandated fees.
What are my options for getting rid of my old mattress?
When you buy a new mattress with Ortho, our delivery truck will haul away and recycle your unwanted mattresses for free. Other mattress retailers also offer a similar service, but at a price—typically referred to as an additional Haul Away Service. (e.g. Macy’s, etc.).
As a homegrown California company, we are dedicated to keeping our products out of landfills. In fact, Ortho’s environmental conscience pre-dates the state’s mattress recycling program. Upon delivery of new beds, Ortho collects used mattresses and foundations and brings them to a private plant for recycling and repurposing. California law dictates that these used materials are never utilized to make our new mattresses.
If you want to discard a mattress without purchasing a new one, the California MRC has hundreds of recycling centers for free drop-off. The MRC does pickups, but only on bulk orders, i.e. you would need to have a lot of beds for them to come to your home. For more details on this, look over the program’s available resources.
By bringing my mattress to the recycler myself, can I avoid the fee?
The state requires that mattress retailers collect this fee at the point of purchase to help fund the recycling programs. The same practice is used with the 5¢ recycling fee on plastic and glass bottles. You are charged the recycling fee when you buy a soda at the market, not when you throw it away.
Eventually, sometime down the road, your mattress will get old and need to be discarded. This fee helps ensure that the recycling program is properly funded across a network of California cities and towns so that the MRC is ready to recycle your bed when the time comes.
The MRC also offers a $3 incentive to all California residents who bring their mattress to a drop-off center.
If I bought my mattress before the state recycling fee took effect, will my old mattress still be accepted?
Yes. And that is part of the reason that mattress retailers are required to collect the fee at the point of sale. This way, the recycling program could fund its good work right away.
Is this fee standard across the country?
Actually, no. The fees are regulated on the state level. While certain states utilize other tax sources to fund these programs, only the Connecticut, Rhode Island, and California state legislatures have written laws that require retailers to collect a specific fee designated towards mattress recycling. Rhode Island’s fee is the highest at $16 per piece.
I love the environment and want to know more!
We share that passion! Feel free to talk to any Ortho sleep specialist in our stores, or you can visit California’s Mattress Recycling website or contact one of your provincial contacts: