Kensal Green councillor who wanted mattresses tagged welcomes plans to make manufacturers recycle them

Cllr Lia Colaccico, Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi and Cllr Matt Kelcher at the council’s household recycling

Cllr Lia Colaccico, Cllr Ernest Ezeajughi and Cllr Matt Kelcher at the councils household recycling centre. - Credit: Archant

Plans to impose mandatory mattress recycling on manufacturers to reduce fly-tipping have been welcomed by a Kensal Green councillor who has been fighting illegal dumping for years.

The Local Government Association last week said the mattress makers should be forced to recycle their products and offer a take-back service, as the cost to councils soars.

Mattresses need specialist treatment due to their bulky nature and mix of metal and fabric components and are fuelling cost pressures on waste and recycling centres.

Cllr Matt Kelcher told the Times in 2018 he wanted a similar scheme brought in. He proposed tagging requirement be placed on private landlords as part of their licence. His calls followed his visit to "mattress mountain" - the council's recycling centre in Abbey Road that was tasked with getting rid of 600 mattresses a week.

"I'm delighted that the LGA are now lobbying for mandatory mattress tagging to tackle the nationwide dumping epidemic," he said. "This is a policy I've been advocating locally for two years. Once again where Brent leads, Britain follows.

"Brent has faced one huge barrier to implementing this idea. Even if we tagged all local mattresses, people from outside Brent could still drive in to illegally dump without us being able to trace them.

"This is why it's so important to get national buy in. I'll be doing all I can to persuade our Council to loudly and proudly support the LGA's calls for legislative change."

LGA environment spokesperson Cllr David Renard said: "Dumped mattresses made up a quarter of all fly-tipping incidents in some areas in the past five years.

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"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 responsibly.

"Fly-tipping is an illegal and inexcusable blight on society. Offenders need to be given bigger fines and councils need adequate funding to investigate incidents.