AN elderly couple who approached the council to ask them to collect an old carpet were warned by an official it would not be picked up if it was wet, but would still cost them £30.

George, 75, and Kathleen Greenhalgh, 81, of Queensgate, came to The Bolton News after first approaching Bolton Council, only to be told they could not guarantee collection if the old carpet was wet.

George said: "We have just had new carpets in our living room and stairs on Monday and after the carpet fitter had finished, he cut up the old carpet so it would be easier to dispose of.

"We don't drive, so we have no means of getting rid of the carpet, so on Tuesday, wanting to ensure we disposed of the carpet in the correct manner and it didn't end up being fly-tipped, we called in at the council to ask for their advice."

George, a retired welder explained: "We approached the enquiry desk where we were told it would cost £30 for them to collect the used carpet but they would not collect it if it was wet, but would still charge the full amount.

"We are now in limbo, because the carpet is outside and we don't want to book with the council because if it is wet it won't be picked up and we will lose £30."

George said he also questioned if Bolton Council was as serious about fly-tipping as it wanted people to believe.

He said: "Before we left the council, we were advised that there were lots of firms who could collect a wet carpet other than the local authority, but what they didn't seem to realise is that was why we went to Bolton Council in the first place because we feel that some of these businesses are the ones doing the fly-tipping. Ultimately, I want to make sure that this carpet is disposed of properly."

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A Bolton Council spokesman said: "Our bulky waste collection service, which is provided by Bolton Community Transport is able to collect heavy items, such as carpets for a fee of £30 for up to five items.

"However, on rare occasions, if the carpet has been left outside in the rain for a long time, it may be too heavy for the collection service to lift.

"If this is the case, we then advise the resident to wait for it to dry it out and we will return to collect it free of charge.

"We do advise residents using the bulky collection service to try and keep the goods dry prior to collection as this helps not only with the collection of the material, but aids recycling.”