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Wales Recognised as One of the World’s Leading Recyclers


Wales has not only been recognised as one of the world’s leading recyclers, but new research finds it is one of the UK’s cheapest bulk item recycling service providers

Wales is leading the UK when it comes to recycling*. Now, research by a British bed manufacturer has found its councils offer the cheapest bulk recycling services in the country too.

Overall, Wales proved to be the cheapest nation in mainland Britain for bulk waste recycling with an average of £22.67 per collection. Welsh fees worked out at 16% less than England and 19% less than Scotland. The lowest recorded fees were found in Conwy and Cardiff where you can recycle spring mattresses for free.

Nation Average Price (£)
England 27.12
Scotland 28.20
Wales 22.67
Combined Average 26.00

The study reviewed bulk recycling services of 378 councils in England, Scotland and Wales, and found just 20 (5.3%) provide free collection of larger items such as beds and mattresses.

Aylesbury Vale in Buckinghamshire tops the list of the most expensive bulky waste recycling council costs – at £75, the fees are 188% higher than the British average of £26.00 and 70% higher than the most expensive in Wales – Ceredigion at £44.

Wales’ green agenda isn’t new. It was the first UK nation to bring in the five pence charge for single-use plastic bags, which saw a 75% drop in the number of bags purchased in Wales between 2011 and 2015. The Welsh government also has ambitious targets to be zero waste by 2050.

Joy Richards of Happy Beds, who conducted the research said:

“In the UK, around 10 million mattresses are discarded each year. While mattresses do contain organic materials, they also embody inorganic synthetic materials and these materials can take decades to degrade.

“While we do stock thousands of mattresses, our cheapest product is £89.99 – meaning that if someone in Aylesbury Vale bought it and had to recycle theirs, their total outlay would nearly double!”

“Recycling old mattresses is an excellent step to reducing a household’s contribution to a growing waste problem, but it’s hard if local authorities are charging nearly as much as a new mattress will cost.

“That’s why we’re working hard to offer our own competitively-priced mattress collection service and are using our interactive map to make it easy for people to find out how much council recycling is near them.”

* According to research by environmental analysts Eunomia.