RESIDENTS in the Dudley borough have to pay nearly £60 if they want the council to collect a large piece of furniture from their home – figures analysed by the BBC reveal.

The BBC’s Shared Data Unit has analysed statistics on bulky waste charges across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, sourced from local authority websites between October and November 2018, which show how much councils charge to collect bulky waste items such as furniture and household electrical items that won't fit in the bin, whether authorities offer a concessionary rate and whether they issue a separate charge for white goods such as fridges and freezers.

In Dudley – the council charges £22.21 for collection of one large item such as a three-piece suite. The price goes up to £37.03 for more than one item such as a three-piece suite plus small items.

For large items of furniture it costs £59.24 and for collection of a mattress it cost £36.

There are no concessionary rates available, according to the figures, and the council has a separate rate of £36.08 for fridges and freezers.

Wollescote resident Gwilym Owen was left reeling at the cost of disposing of a mattress and he told the News this week: "I'm really incensed. I can't get my head round it. No wonder people are fly-tipping. In 2014 it was only £14."

He said the firm he is buying a new mattress from has offered to take his old one away for £20.

Councillor John Martin, Dudley’s cabinet member for environmental services and highways, said Dudley's fees are "reviewed at regular intervals to ensure they continue to offer value for money" and he added: “Dudley Council has offered a bulky waste collection service for a number of years which continues to be popular with residents and provides a responsible disposal service at competitive rates.

“We do ask people to consider ethical and responsible alternatives to throwing away their bulky waste items, such as donating furniture to charity.

“If residents would like further information about this service they can call Dudley Council on 0300 555 2345.”

In neighbouring Sandwell - the prices for collection of bulky waste are considerably cheaper.

The authority charges £12.57 for one bulky item to be collected, £18.87 for two to four items, £37.73 for five to eight items - and £12.57 per item for fridges/freezers.

Sandwell also offers a concessionary rate to households with one resident over 60 - entitling them to one free collection of bulky waste up to four items or one fridge/freezer in any 12-month period.

Sandwell Council’s cabinet member for highways and environment, Councillor David Hosell, said: “Our bulky waste service is extremely popular and well-used and has been running for more than a decade.

“Although it’s not possible to say how bulky waste collections directly impact on fly-tipping rates, we do offer a really competitive price for the removal of unwanted items as well as one free collection each year for the over 60s.

“We also take a very hard-line on fly-tipping and we have issued more than 100 £400 fines to people who dump rubbish over the past 18 months.

"With such a good bulky waste collection service in place, there's no excuse to fly-tip."

Confirmation of the costs to dispose of bulky waste come just a week after Dudley Council announced it would be getting tough on fly-tippers - as incidents of unauthorised rubbish dumping in the Dudley borough have been costing the authority around £60,000 to clean up each year.

In 2016/17 there were 1,069 incidents of fly-tipping recorded in the Dudley borough - compared to 824 the previous year.