Mattress dumping epidemic hits East London

Posted on Tuesday 16th January 2018

Filthy and dangerous mattresses equal the height of three Shards 

mattresses for website

More than 5, 000 mattresses have been dumped on Tower Hamlets housing estates in last 12 months.  Shocking figures reveal that 5, 064 mattresses were removed by Tower Hamlets Homes (THH) from their social housing estates across the borough, making an average of 422 every month.   

Stacked on top of each other the mattresses would reach a height of 911 metres, which is three times the height of The Shard. 

The anti-social behaviour is causing misery for residents and causing fire risks when the often filthy mattresses are left blocking fire escape routes.  Parents have complained that they are unable to let children play in outside areas due to hygiene concerns such as bed-bugs and fleas. 

THH manages around 21, 500 homes and the number of mattresses being discarded suggests that the problem is not mainly caused by tenants.  With around 10, 000 leaseholders, the vast majority of properties are owned by non-resident landlords who rent the properties on the private market. Evidence suggests that these landlords simply clear out old mattresses when tenants on short-term leases leave. 

Tower Hamlets is the sixth most densely populated borough in London covering 10, 300 square kilometres and a population equivalent to 111 players on every football pitch.  The high population density means that streets of privately owned homes sit right next to large housing estates. THH caretaking staff report that people have been seen at night, crossing streets to dump mattresses on housing estates that they don’t live on.

Posted on Tuesday 16th January 2018