Sofas, duvets and mattresses take up more than 26.2 million cu m of England's landfill space each year – the equivalent of 17,129 forests – according to new research by TFR Group.

England faces a landfill crisis, and a number of household items are escalating the problem, with sofas sitting at the top spot, taking up 15.1 million cu m of space in landfill each year, the equivalent of filling Wembley Stadium four times over. Duvets take second place, with more than 22.8 million being sold annually, contributing to 7.2 million cu m of landfill space. 

Mattresses, which are often seen as difficult and expensive to dispose of, come in third place, making up a significant portion of the problem, with more than seven million discarded each year in the UK.

Mattress and soft furnishings recycling specialist TFR Group is calling for the UK industry to work together to build a joined-up solution towards a circular economy, in which products are designed and produced with recycling and end of life in mind. The firm previously found that England’s landfill sites are set to burst by 2022 if nothing is done to stem the flow of waste being sent there, with only enough space for 175.1 million tonnes of waste left in total. Regions such as Sussex, Bedfordshire and the Isle of Wight are the most at risk if these three recycling offenders continue to be sent to landfill, with each having less than one million cu m of capacity remaining.  

Today is Global Recycling Day, which was created by The Global Recycling Foundation in 2018. TFR Group MD Nick Oettinger (pictured) says: “With Global Recycling Day upon us, our latest findings highlight the dangers of relying on our bursting landfill, and we’re edging closer and closer to a waste disaster. It’s clear that there’s still a lot of groundwork to be done to create our much-needed circular economy, where products are designed with recyclability in mind. This is the only way we can truly solve our recycling and waste crisis.”