More than 33,000 mattresses were illegally dumped across England between 2018 and 2019 – helping towards an overall fly tipping bill of £60 million for taxpayers.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is calling for mattress manufacturers to be forced to recycle their own products and offer take-back services to stop them being illegally fly-tipped and reduce cost pressures on council recycling and waste disposal centres.
LGA analysis of latest industry figures also shows that annual UK mattress sales are outstripping the number recycled by more than five-fold, with 7.26 million sold as replacements compared to 1.36 million recycled.
The lack of a comprehensive take-back and recycling scheme is leaving councils to pick up the slack.
Coun David Renard, LGA environment spokesman, said: “Dumped mattresses made up a quarter of all fly-tipping incidents in some areas in the past five years.
“Unwanted mattresses are fuelling landfill costs which continue to rise, putting pressure on waste and recycling centres which councils are working hard to keep open.
“Mattresses are bulky and hard to throw away, but are generally recyclable.
“Manufacturers need to take responsibility for the life-cycle of their mattresses and help councils and consumers dispose of them.
“Alongside being forced to offer take-back services and recycle mattresses as part of a circular economy, manufacturers need to be made to introduce mandatory take-back schemes to help reduce mattresses being dumped illegally and contributing to a fly-tipping bill of nearly £60 million a year to taxpayers.