THE work of an unscrupulous commercial operator is what Great Lakes Council suspects is behind up to 300 mattresses being dumped along the Pacific Highway.
A pile of about 70 mattresses was spotted near Tea Gardens turn off by councillor Len Roberts as well as another pile towards Raymond Terrace.
Great Lakes Council's manager of waste, health and regulatory services John Cavanagh said another site was also spotted at Taree.
"We got straight onto it trying to find out what, who, how," Mr Cavanagh said.
Mr Cavanagh said the council had a witness and would be following possible links to a business in Coffs Harbour.
The council's strongest theory centres around a commercial operator being payed to pick up and dispose of old mattresses from places such as bedding retailers.
Instead of disposing of them correctly, which may see the operator have to pay some sort of fee, they are being dumped.
"It seems to be a well planned event to increase profit," Mr Cavanagh said.
Cr Roberts described the incident as "environmental vandalism" and noted people were actually adding their own rubbish to the mattress piles.
The Great Lakes Council is in the process of having the mattresses removed.