UK Changes – Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
Waste Domestic Upholstered Seating Containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)
The way Zero Waste Group Ltd receive, store and process Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating containing POPs will change from 6th January 2023.
These changes follow guidance from the Environment Agency on the disposal of Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating (WUDS) containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). The guidance states that these items will no longer be able to be recycled or accepted at landfill and must be destroyed through incineration.
This guidance was issued by the Environment Agency in the last week of December 2022 hence the lack of notice to the waste industry of these changes.
The manufacture, sale and use of products containing POPs is now banned. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are poisonous chemical substances that break down slowly and get into food chains as a result.
Many POPs were widely used during the boom in industrial production after World War II, when thousands of synthetic chemicals were introduced into commercial use. Many were used in the manufacture of upholstered domestic seating such as sofas, chairs and cushions.
Identifying waste upholstered domestic seating that contains POPs
Waste domestic seating is any item of seating of a household type from households or businesses that is waste. All upholstered domestic seating will be considered to contain POPs. For example:
- sofa beds
- kitchen and dining room chairs
- stools and foot stools
- home office chairs
- bean bags
- floor and sofa cushions
This includes any part made of or containing leather, synthetic leather, other fabric, or foam.
Following the introduction by the Environment Agency of these new rules Zero Waste Group Ltd are reluctantly forced to introduce individual item charges as follows whenever these items are collected individually or as part of a larger load. These additional charges are being introduced simply to cover the changes in costs of storage, processing and disposal of these items as set out below: –
Sofas and armchairs of any type large or small – £50 plus vat per item
Smaller chairs (office chairs), beanbags and cushions – £25 plus vat per item
The new rules for items containing POPs apply to all such items, all businesses and consumers and all waste collection companies throughout the UK. It is expected that as a result of the increased costs of collecting and processing these items in a legally compliant manner the incidence of illegal collecting and fly tipping will increase. We advise our customers to be particularly vigilant and wary of waste collection companies who offer “bargain” rates for the collection of these items.