Postcode Lottery: Wales Leads the Way with Affordable Council Mattress Rates

British bed manufacturer, Happy Beds, has researched  which parts of the UK  have the most affordable  council mattress recycling rates.

Wales has previously been recognised as one of the world’s leading recyclers, but this research has also found that the country is also the UK’s cheapest bulk item recycling service provider.

The study, which reviewed 378 councils across England, Scotland and Wales revealed that Wales’ average minimum price for bulky waste collection from the council is just £18.89, in comparison to £25.76 in England and £21.21 in Scotland. The national average was revealed as being £21.95.

Overall Welsh fees appeared to be 27% less than England and 11% less than Scotland, with the lowest recorded fees found in both Cardiff and Conwy, whose councils offered free bulky waste recycling options.

Joy Richards at Happy Beds, who commissioned and conducted the research, said: “In the UK, around 10 million mattresses are discarded each year. Some mattresses do contain organic materials, but they also embody inorganic synthetic materials which can take decades to degrade.”

The most expensive council to offer a bulky waste collection is Aylesbury Vale at £75 per item, while there were 14 councils that offered free collection. This included large cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Cardiff and Glasgow, as well as six London authorities.

Councillor James Noakes, Cabinet Member for Streetscene in Liverpool had told Happy Beds, “We have taken a decision to retain free bulky waste collections because we want to make it as easy as possible for people to dispose of large items and prevent dumping or fly-tipping. Our bulky household waste collection partner has completed over 1.1million collections over the last 30 years. Everything is checked to see if it is suitable for reuse, and if it is, much of it is given away for free through 200 referral agencies.”

The table below shows the councils with the highest fees across all three nations. Wales’ highest fees average at a reasonable £35.90, England’s almost doubles this at £62.95 while Scotland comes in at a reasonable £41.29.

Most expensive in England Most expensive in Wales Most expensive in Scotland
Aylesbury Vale – £75.00 Wrexham – £42.50 Argyll and Bute – £63.35
Stevenage – £68.75 Ceredigion – £42.00 Stirling – £42.10
North Somerset – £67.50 Flintshire – £40.00 Clackmannanshire – £38.00
Richmond Upon Thames – £57.50 Isle of Anglesey – £29.00 Renfrewshire – £32.30
Eastleigh – £56.00 Torfaen – £27.00 East Renfrewshire – £30.50


Despite being the lowest for recycling rates and being one of the top countries in the world, Wales was also the first UK country to introduce a 5p charge for single-use plastic bags in shops. This has since seen a 75% drop in the number of bags purchased in Wales and the Welsh Government also has a target to be zero waste by 2050.

To view the full extent of the recycling research that was undertaken, check out the campaign here: