What is the Mattress Recycling Fee and Why Do I Have to Pay It?

As of December 30, 2015, California State Law requires retailers to collect an $11 "recycle fee" on each mattress, box spring, foundation, and base sold. This fee is "per piece" so if your box spring or foundation comes in two pieces, the fee will be charged for each piece. The state approved the amount of the fee--it is not set or controlled by the retailer.

The fee funds the state's mattress recycling program, which is administered by the Mattress Recycling Council.

A site has been set up to provide consumers with more information about the fee. Please visit byebyemattress.com to learn more.


If I Don't Plan to Discard a Mattress Now, Why Do I Have to Pay This Fee?

The state requires retailers to collect the fee on the sale of any mattress, box spring, foundation, and base sale to fund the state's mattress recycling program. Think of the recycling fee charge on the sale of plastic water bottles. You pay the fee when you purchase the water at the grocery store, not when you recycle the bottle.

Even if you aren't discarding a mattress right now, a mattress doesn't last forever, and will eventually be discarded. The program creates a network of participating cities, towns, retailers, recyclers, and other organizations that you may rely on what the time comes to properly recycle your old mattress.


If I Decide to Take My Old Mattress to a Recycler Myself, Do I Still Pay the Recycle Fee?

Yes, state law requires retailers to collect this fee on the sale of any mattress, box spring, foundation, and base to fund the state's mattress recycling program. The retailer is required to collect and pay these collected fees to the State of California.


I Didn't Pay This Fee on My Old Mattress, So Will It Be Accepted for Recycling?

Yes, mattresses are recycled through the state's mattress recycling program regardless of the time they were purchased.


You Didn't Take Back My Old Mattress Because You Deemed It Unacceptable. Can You Refund My Recycling Fee?

No, state law requires retailers to collect this fee on ANY mattress and box spring or foundation sale to fund the state's mattress recycling program. The law does not force retailers to accept every mattress for recycling out of concern for employee health and safety. A retailer may refuse pickup if the used mattress is contaminated and poses a risk to personnel, new products, or equipment. This includes:

  • Severely damaged, wet, twisted, frozen, soiled, or stained mattresses, box springs, or foundations
  • Items infested with bed bugs
  • Mattress pads or toppers
  • Sleeping bags
  • Pillows
  • Car beds
  • Juvenile products such as carriages, baskets, bassinets, dressing tables, strollers, and playpens or their pads
  • Infant carriers, lounge pads, or crib bumpers
  • Water beds or camping-style air mattresses
  • Fold-out sofa beds
  • Futons and furniture

If your mattress is unacceptable for recycling, contact your city or town to learn what disposal options are available.


What Are the Benefits of Mattress Recycling?

More than 90% of a mattress can be recycled and made into a new product. Recycling provides a number of important benefits:

  • Conserves resources by making used steel, foam, and other materials into new products
  • Reduces reliance on incinerators and landfills by diverting mattresses from the waste stream
  • Reduces the number of illegally dumped mattresses
  • Creates recycling jobs

Where Do I Get More Information?

For more information, please contact the Mattress Recycling Council or visit byebyemattress.com.

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