Mon 9 Jan 2023

Stuck for a Sofa Collection Due to POPs Regulations? Call Zero Waste Group

There’s a lot in the news at the moment about POPs (persistent organic pollutants) in furniture and sofas. If you’ve not heard, the UK government has new legislation which complicates how waste collection and disposal is handled by local councils and HWRCs. 

This means some local councils are halting bulky waste collections and sofa collections due to the complexity, costs, and confusion over the new regulations. If you want to know more about POPs and waste collections, scroll down the page a little further were we explain what’s been happening and why.

However, if you are a member of the public struggling to get your council to collect a sofa or settee due to the POPs waste disposal regulations, please call Zero Waste Group for a quote. We have offices in Southampton and Winchester, but can serve the whole south coast for rubbish and waste removal jobs.

We prioritise the health and safety of our employees by providing rigorous training, protective equipment, and a safe work environment. We also practice environmentally friendly practices.

This means we can collect your sofa that might have POPs in it, and look to recycle it or in many cases we will pass the furniture on to a local charity who can pass it on. 

sofa disposal pops
We can collect and dispose your sofa with POPs – responsibly and ethically

What are POPs (persistent organic pollutants)?

POPs are harmful substances that are resistant to breaking down naturally. They are referred to as “persistent” because they stick around in the environment for a long time. These toxic organic compounds can build up in the fat of people and animals meaning the chemicals are harmful to human health and the environment.

POPs can travel through the air over long distances, so can pose a risk on a global scale. Some common POPs include PCBs, dioxins, and certain pesticides like DDT. Therefore, governments around the world are taking action to control and reduce the use of POPs because of their negative impact.

Are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in sofas?

Yes, POPs can be found in some sofas and furniture. You can find POPs in furniture including:

  • sofas
  • sofa beds
  • armchairs
  • kitchen and dining room chairs
  • stools and foot stools
  • home office chairs
  • futons
  • bean bags, floor, and sofa cushions

Governments have rules to reduce the use of POPs in products, including furniture, to protect people and the planet – which is why we are seeing some local UK councils halting waste collections of sofas. This is due to confusion over new regulations on the disposal of furniture containing POPs from January 1, 2023.

What the new regulation says

Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRCs) must now store any disposed furniture that may contain POPs in a different manner. This is to prevent damage to waste upholstered domestic seating containing POPs, the release of POPs, and contamination with other waste.

They have also been asked to avoid mixing waste upholstered domestic seating containing POPs with other waste during any stage of waste production, storage, collection, or treatment. This includes not mixing it with other waste in skips, containers, or bays at household waste recycling centers, transfer stations, or treatment sites.

The regulation on POPs in sofas also means that local councils are not allowed to mix furniture with POPs in with other waste on a vehicle. The UK Government say the following:

You can collect waste upholstered domestic seating on the same vehicle as other waste items (for example, doorstep bulky waste collection) as long as they are:

  • not mixed
  • collected in a way that does not allow it to contaminate the other waste
  • separated from the other waste when unloaded from the vehicle
  • If you do mix POPs waste with non-POPs waste, you must manage the whole load as POPs waste until you can separate the upholstered domestic seating. You must destroy the POPs even if the mixing has diluted the POPs to below the concentration limit.

If the council does collect the furniture and take it back to an HWRC, they cannot place it in landfill. Instead, any furniture with POPs that is collected, will need to be incinerated. 

As you can see, this is going to add a lot of complexity and cost to local council furniture collections, which is why we are seeing some councils pausing bulky waste collections at the moment. 

Call Zero Waste Group for a quote

To conclude, if you cannot book a sofa disposal due to POPs legislation, contact Zero Waste Group today. We can give you a quick quote, and then it’s very possible that we can collect your sofa or furniture on the same day, with no hassle.

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