Making Wapping Better, One Mattress at a Time!

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Anyone noticed how many mattresses get dumped on London’s streets every week? Tower Hamlets council asks for £15 to collect bulky items but East London seems to have an endless supply of feckless futons that cost us all money to clear up if dumped anonymously. The details of how to get rid of such items are pasted below. In the meantime, if you spot any of the offending articles, take a picture and send it to us with the location and we will get our council team onto it, just like we did with this mattress in Inglefield Square.

Large item removal (special collection)

If your unwanted furniture is in good condition please contact Homestore who will collect it free of charge and sell it at a low cost to those in need.

To check if your item can be reused, please call Homestore directly on 020 8519 6264 or

If you have suitable transport, you can take unwanted items to the Reuse and Recycling Centreat Northumberland Wharf. Where possible, we will sort your bulky waste for reuse or recycling.

Items can also be sold/given away through websites such as Freecycle, eBay, Gumtree and Freegle.

Many stores offer a ‘take back scheme’. So, if you are purchasing a new washing machine the company should take back your old one, often free of charge. Smaller items, such as toasters, can also be taken back to a store when a new one is purchased – you should always check first with the store.

Items that cannot be reused

If your furniture or bulky items cannot be reused we offer a chargeable collection service. The items we collect will be sorted and recycled where possible and where not sent to landfill.


Each collection will cost £15, and will cover a collection for up to five items. All households can call on this service as frequently as they wish, but will only be able to book two collections in any one day.

Residents in receipt of housing benefit are entitled to two free collections per calendar year. The normal charge will then apply for the third, fourth, etc. collection requested.

How to prepare your bulky waste

We need five working days notice to arrange the collection and will collect items between 7am and 3pm.

Please note, the bulky waste collection service will be suspended during the Christmas period. No collections will take place from 25 December until 6 January 2013. A normal service will resume on 7 January 2013’

All items should be left outside for collection, where they are clearly visible and accessible. All items must be left out by 7 am on the date of the collection.

Please note that for insurance purposes, the collection team are unable to enter properties. However, we are able to offer assisted collections to elderly an disabled residents, for which a disclaimer form will need to be signed allowing the crew to enter the property.

For kerbside properties items should be placed within the boundary of your property at ground level.

If you live in a block of flats, please note, the collection team are unable to access a large number of blocks in the Borough. If you are not sure where best to leave your items, please speak to your concierge, caretaker or housing manager first.  No items will be collected above the 3rd floor without a lift, items must be brought down to a suitable location on a lower level for collection.

What we will collect

We will provide a collection service for residents to dispose of any unwanted bulky furniture such as fridge/freezers, cookers, washing machines, beds, futons, sofas, wardrobes and televisions.

What we will not collect

We cannot collect DIY or builders’ waste. This includes waste produced from home improvements and anything once part of the fabric, fixtures or fittings of your house eg rubble, bricks, soil, windows, kitchens, fireplaces. We also cannot collect car parts, gas canisters and tyres.

We collect residents’ rubbish only. We will not collect rubbish produced by contractors, fitters etc.

House clearance

A house clearance cannot be arranged through the council. You should contact your local housing office/housing association or managing agents in the first instance.

Book and pay for a bulky waste collection

To book and pay for a collection, please call Streetline on 0207 364 5004. Please note, we can only accept debit or credit card payments. We are unable to accept cheques or cash.

If you are entitled to a free collection and wish to use this service please call Streetline on 0207 364 5004. Please be prepared to quote your Housing Benefit reference number when making the booking.

If you wish to cancel your booking, we are only able to offer a refund if we received the notification of cancellation 48 hours before your collection is due. If your collection has been missed or delayed, please contact Streetline and we will endeavour to collect within the next 24 hours.

Tel: 020 7364 5004


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