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Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating (WUDS) containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS)

(Change in place from February 01 2024)

Leather effect armchair with torn material and exposed filling

There have been changes to the way Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating (WUDS) are to be disposed of, due to new guidance surrounding Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS). POPs are organic chemical substances which pose a risk to the environment if not managed correctly. POPS are usually present as a result of a flame-retardant chemical, decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE), which has been banned since 2019 and is no longer used. 

WUDS include:

  •  Sofas/Sofa beds
  •  Armchairs
  •  Kitchen and dining room chairs
  •  Stools and foot stools (upholstered)
  •  Home office chairs
  •  Futons, bean bags and, floor and sofa cushions
  •  Electrical recliner chairs

This list includes any part made of or containing leather, synthetic leather, other fabric, or foam. This legislation does not apply to other soft furnishings as upholstered domestic seating have been found to contain the highest levels of POPs

A high percentage of soft furnishings in your home will have fire retardants applied to them in order to meet Fire Safety Standards. It is possible that some of these items will have fire retardants that contain identified POPs but not at levels that can cause concern to the environment.

Soft furnishings bought new after 2019 should not contain fire retardants containing the current list of identified POPs as legislation to ban the use of POPS in WUDS has been in place since 2019. To ensure that all items potentially including POPs are fully and safely destroyed, new guidance (2024) following legislation (2007) requires that such items are all segregated at the point of disposal.

Authorities responsible for managing WUDS were required by law to change their processes for dealing with waste potentially containing POPs.

A simple change of splitting bulky waste and WUDS into two separate skips at all Recycling Centres in Perth and Kinross, where space allows, has been implemented. This means householders who wish to dispose of WUDS will be required to place them into the correct skip (WUDS not Bulky Waste as previously).

All attendants at Recycling Centres are aware of this change and can offer guidance for householders where necessary.

Please be aware this change is slightly different at the following Recycling Centres:

  • Auchterarder- WUDS will not be accepted here and will be redirected to Crieff Recycling Centre (Black bag and Bulky Waste will still be accepted)
  • Bankfoot - WUDS and Bulky Waste will not be accepted and will be redirected to Inveralmond Recycling Centre (Black bag waste still accepted)

FAQs

How should I dispose of my Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating?

If you would like to donate good quality upholstered domestic seating (with fire safety labels attached*) you can donate this to a local charity who accept furniture or drop it off at one of our reuse containers.

*Fire safety labels on sofas and armchairs must state compliance with The Furniture and Furnishings (Fire Safety) Regulations 1988 (amended 1989 and 1993).

Alternatively, websites such as Gumtree, eBay or Freegle can be used for furniture reuse.

Some retailers that you purchased your upholstered domestic seating from may offer a take-back scheme,. Check with the retailer to confirm.

If you need to dispose of your upholstered domestic seating this can be done at 7 out of 9 Recycling Centre in the WUDS container. It is advisable  that the item is kept whole where feasible, this is due to the risk of textiles or foam entering the environment upon transport. It is advised bin bags/ plastic is used to wrap any exposed areas.

Please be aware this change is slightly different at the following Recycling Centres:

  • Auchterarder- WUDS will not be accepted here and will be redirected to Crieff Recycling Centre (Black bag and Bulky Waste will still be accepted)
  • Bankfoot- WUDS and Bulky Waste will not be accepted and will be redirected to Inveralmond Recycling Centre (Black bag waste still accepted)

 

Can I dispose of Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating at the kerbside or in my green-lidded bin?

No, a charged bulky uplift must be arranged or disposal at a local Recycling Centre for all Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating. This cannot be disposed of in your green-lidded bin.

The law requires that any waste upholstered domestic seating is kept separate from all other waste where it is reasonable and feasible to do so.

 

Will Waste Upholstered Domestic Seating still be included in Bulky Uplifts?

Yes, however there are alternative options for bulky uplifts containing WUDS which are charged differently to a normal bulky uplift.

 

How is Perth and Kinross Council dealing with waste containing POPs?

Waste upholstered domestic seating containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which is brought to Recycling centres will be sent for Energy Recovery in line with legislative guidance.

Any waste containing POPs will be safely incinerated to generate electricity, ensuring these chemicals are destroyed or irreversibly transformed and cannot be released into the wider environment.

 

When did the new compliance procedures come into effect?

The new compliance procedures came into effect on 1 January 2023, however, there has been a period to settle into this change, the change will be enforced from February 1st.

 

Why can't I cut up my sofa (or other upholstered domestic seating) to take it to a Recycling Centre?

It is advisable that the item is kept whole where feasible, this is due to the risk of textiles or foam containing Persistent Organic Pollutants entering the environment upon transport. It is advised bin bags/ plastic is used to wrap any exposed areas.

 

Is my upholstered domestic seating dangerous?

Risk of exposure to persistent organic pollutants from your upholstered domestic seating is low.

Regular vacuuming of upholstered domestic seating is recommended to reduce risk of exposure as well as repairing any damage.

Taking upholstered seating items apart increases the risk of allowing the Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) to be released into the environment and may increase your risk of being exposed to them.

 

Is my new sofa (post 2019) still flame retardant?

Yes, all domestic seating produced must meet stringent UK flammability tests that comply with the Furniture and Furnishings (Fire) (Safety) Regulations 1988.

Items purchased after 2019 still meet Fire Safety regulations, however chemicals used are not classed as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

 

Last modified on 04 April 2024

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