23 May 2024, 07:51
By Furniture News Nov 24, 2023

IKEA UK launches new mattress removal and recycling scheme

IKEA has announced the launch of a new mattress removal and recycling scheme, giving UK customers a convenient and sustainable way to recycle their old mattresses. The service aims to ensure that mattresses across the UK are transformed into valuable raw materials that are fed back into the economy and reused.

IKEA customers can book a collection for their mattresses, either online or in-store, for £40 per item. Following collection, mattresses are transported to a dedicated recycling facility operated by IKEA partner, The Furniture Recycling (TFR) Group.

TFR Group diverts 100% of the mattresses it collects or receives from landfill, by deconstructing them manually using specialist cutting tools – enabling the materials to be separated into their component parts, which are then sanitised for onward processing. Since 2012, TFR Group has recycled more than 3.5 million mattresses, with 30,000 tonnes of material flowing back into the economy.

In 2022, RetourMatras, a Netherlands-based mattress recycling company that is co-owned by Ingka Investments – the investment arm of Ingka Group, the largest IKEA retailer – acquired TFR Group. This investment has enabled the business to triple its dismantling capacity, which now stands at 1.5 million mattresses per year.

Beyond recycling, IKEA also plans to use TFR Group’s mattress rejuvenation service in the near future, which involves a bespoke sanitation process for returned mattresses. This ensures returned mattresses do not go to waste, and instead are cleaned to NHS standards and verified to be of as-new quality via robust quality assurance checks – ready for resale at discounted prices or redistribution to support local communities.

The launch of the new mattress removal and recycling scheme strengthens the retailer’s existing sustainable services offering. This includes in-store areas, now known as Re-shop and Re-use, where IKEA can recycle and give products a second life, offering free spare parts and a range of affordable goods including discontinued items, ex-display articles and pre-loved furniture – traded back to IKEA through the BuyBack & Resell service, which encourages customers to sell back eligible pre-used goods in exchange for store credit, so these pieces can then be purchased by a new customer and reused.

In addition, IKEA recently piloted a new ‘car boot’ sale concept at its Milton Keynes and Cardiff stores, to support customers in repurposing their pre-used belongings.

Greg Lucas, sustainability manager at IKEA UK, says: “We’re very excited to have our new mattress removal and recycling service up and running in collaboration with The Furniture Recycling Group, which is transforming old mattresses that would otherwise go to waste, back into valuable raw materials that can be used again and again.

"Partnerships like this are crucial to overcoming long-term environmental challenges like mattress waste and advancing our People and Planet Positive journey, while supporting as many customers as possible in living a more sustainable life at home.”

Alongside expanding recycling capacity in the UK, RetourMatras and TFR Group are working together to make mattress recycling more efficient by optimising transport, dismantling and material recoverability – ultimately working towards a fully circular mattress value chain.

Nick Oettinger, CEO and founder of TFR Group, comments: “We are proud to support IKEA UK, helping to further strengthen the business’ sustainability offering through our mattress removal and recycling service. By stripping each mattress back and recycling its component parts, together we are able to contribute to the circular economy and ensure that a bulky waste stream is recycled and diverted from landfill, delivering long-term environmental benefits.”

To book a mattress collection online, customers simply need to visit The Mattress Recycling People website – the consumer-facing arm of TFR Group – using the code IKEA2023, and the delivery team will collect any old mattresses on the customer’s chosen date and time.

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