Why a Furniture Purchase Receipt Included a $10.50 ‘Recycling Fee'

An NBC Bay Area viewer's question about an IKEA receipt taught us about a little-known law

What to Know

  • California law requires furniture retailers charge a $10.50 recycling fee for all mattress sales
  • The fee funds a mattress recycling program
  • California residents can take any unwanted mattress to a recycling center for free, and may even be eligible for a small cash incentive

Peter in San Leandro recently contacted NBC Bay Area with a question about his receipt from a recent IKEA purchase:

  • "I purchased a couple of furniture items from this store, and on the receipt, there is an item listed and charged as a 'recycling fee.' I wanted to know why I was charged a recycling fee when I was purchasing. This lead me to ask the cashier for the reason, and the cashier referred me to customer service. I asked the same question and I was told it's an IKEA procedure and they could not explain the charge. I just want to put this out there so people are informed about this practice."

After we received his email, NBC Bay Area reached out to IKEA and asked if it could explain. The Swedish retailer told us all furniture stores are required under California law to charge the $10.50 recycling fee to anyone who buys a mattress.

That law, the California Used Mattress Recovery and Recycling Act, took effect last year. It established the recycling fee, which goes toward a mattress recycling program administered by the Mattress Recycling Council.

The good news: as a California resident, you can drop off any unwanted mattress at a recycling center for free -- no matter where the mattress was purchased. You may even get a $3 incentive for every mattress you recycle, up to $15 per day.

To find an authorized mattress recycling center near you, visit ByeByeMattress.com.

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