Jacksonville ULTA accused of bleaching discarded cosmetics to deter dumpster divers

Action News Jax investigates claims that a beauty store at the Markets at Town Center is pouring bleach on its discarded cosmetics to deter dumpster divers.

Multiple people reached out to us after seeing a social media post that appears to show ULTA Beauty employees in the act.

A woman who supposedly works at ULTA Beauty at the Markets at Town Center on Jacksonville’s southside posted the images, saying, “For all the people who love dumpster diving, here’s our recipe for you. A collection of smashed products covered entirely in bleach. Enjoy your finds.”

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“This company has a salon on its premises. Ammonia is a main chemical in hair dye. Ammonia mixed with bleach causes chloride gas. That’s not healthy for a person or the environment,” said one Jacksonville woman who reached out to Action News Jax.

Action News Jax looked in the dumpster where we’re told ULTA discards its products and found dozens of destroyed cosmetics.

“People like to come out here and they scope the dumpsters to see what they can find,” said a man who works near ULTA. “It’s usually, like, ladies and their kids. Crazy.”

A manager at the Markets at Town Center store said she wasn’t allowed to talk about the post and referred us to corporate.

An ULTA corporate spokesperson sent the following statement:

“Health and safety is a top priority for Ulta Beauty and we strongly discourage the unsafe, and sometimes illegal practice of ‘dumpster diving’.

"We are aware that individuals sometimes assume the risks associated with this practice and retrieve discarded products. ULTA Beauty, like other retailers, disposes of products for a reason. All products that are damaged, used, expired or otherwise unsaleable or unsuitable for donation are disposed of in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations. These products should never be retrieved or used.

"Although the veracity of the actions depicted is unclear, they are not consistent with the policies we have in place.”

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