Home Leisure & Lifestyle The Best and Worst Areas for Bulky-Item Recycling, Study Finds

The Best and Worst Areas for Bulky-Item Recycling, Study Finds

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Wooden bed makers, Get Laid Beds analysed FOI data from UK councils to reveal how much is being spent on recycling services in the UK. 

The research revealed the cities and towns most likely to recycle bulky items with their councils properly based on how many items were disposed of properly per 100 people.

The UK areas that have recycled the most

Best to worst

UK town/city

Items per 100 people

1

Pendle

12.94349324

2

Malton

11.79260196

3

Hyndburn

8.664233125

4

North Ayrshire

7.713630988

5

Westminster

7.493175632

6

Manchester

6.990401822

7

Redcar and Cleveland

6.653842215

8

Darlington

6.55781634

9

Peterborough

6.242431438

10

Renfrewshire

6.04917516

The UK areas that have recycled the least

Best to worst

UK town/city

Items per 100 people

1

Cheshire East

0.2054143223

2

Arun

0.223366515

3

Gosport

0.2721105037

4

Canterbury

0.2795451921

5

Hertsmere

0.3811109569

6

Surrey Heath

0.4253212413

7

Wolverhampton

0.4717481987

8

Stirling

0.509912011

9

Broadland

0.5654081443

10

Mid Sussex

0.5844398728

In the past 12 months, Brits invested over £13 million in bulky waste collections, and of those requests, more than a quarter (28%) were for mattresses, totalling £3,601,746.

Top recycled items in the UK 

Item name

Number recycled over the last 12 months

Mattresses

187,086

Sofas

151,774

Beds

60,497

Fridge/freezers

58,626

Chairs

53,000

The data shows that mattresses, sofas and bed frames are the most recycled items across the UK, accounting for 399,357 units last year.

Throughout the last 12 months, there have been clear peaks and troughs in the UK’s sustainable habits. In December, there was a notable shift, with a 42% reduction in recycled items during the festive season compared to the previous month. 

However, as the new year unfolds, there’s a boost in people’s sustainability commitments, with a 37% uplift post-Christmas. This could perhaps be due to the amount of wear and tear on items such as their bed, mattress, and sofa from having guests stay over the festive period. 

Furthermore, the end of summer (August) is the peak of the decluttering season, as seen last year with £942,289.80 paid in bulky uplift services across the UK. Coming in second is the spring clean season in March, which saw an 11% increase in collection requests and again in May with a 14% increase.

Ajay Solanki, marketing director at Get Laid Beds, said: “It is possible that many households are unsure of the different ways they can recycle their goods, whether it’s due to a lack of information, resources, or awareness.

“Reflecting our commitment to responsible waste management, we actively contribute to animal charities by donating bags of sawdust. This byproduct, generated during our wood processing, serves as bedding for guinea pigs, rabbits, and chinchillas, aligning with our dedication to fostering a sustainable community.

“As you contemplate refreshing your home décor, think beyond discarding items. Explore avenues to donate to charity, sell online, or upcycle them into something new, making for a more sustainable future.”

Tips to make your furniture last longer

  • Regular cleaning. Maintain a consistent cleaning routine to prevent the accumulation of dirt and grime. Use the correct cleaning products that match the material of your furniture to ensure longevity.
  • Avoid sun exposure. Place your furniture away from direct sunlight to prevent fading and damage. Sun exposure can weaken materials over time, leading to deterioration and a shorter lifespan. 
  • Rotate cushions. Make sure you regularly rotate and flip the removable cushion, this helps distribute wear and tear evenly, preventing one side from deteriorating faster than the others. 
  • Proper support. Ensure that bed frames and chair structures receive adequate support. Check for loose or weakened joints and tighten or reinforce them as necessary. This simple maintenance can extend the life of your furniture. 
  • Appropriate use. Use the furniture for its intended purpose. Avoid overloading shelves, drawers, or bed frames beyond their recommended capacity. Be mindful of weight limits to prevent structural damage and ensure a longer lifespan for your furniture. 

Tips on when you should consider purchasing a new mattress

  • If the mattress moves a lot when your partner turns in their sleep
  • If you find it hard to roll on your mattress
  • If you have previously flipped or rotated your mattress and is still proving uncomfortable
  • If your mattress sags, has lumps or indentations
  • If you wake up feeling stiff, sore or experience discomfort, this might be a sign that your mattress no longer provides adequate support

Responsible and efficient recycling programmes are crucial as we strive to build a more sustainable future. As citizens, considering how our daily habits impact sustainability is key. Efforts like maintaining and repurposing household items can extend their lifespans.

Data and insights that allow informed decision-making are invaluable tools on the path to environmentally-conscious communities. With recycling and reuse in sharp focus, steady progress relies on both governmental initiatives and individual actions.

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