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Bulky Waste Collections & Disposal (POPs)

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POPs (persistent organic pollutants) are toxic chemicals that pose a health risk and can be harmful to the environment.

Our POPs collection and disposal service ensures your waste is handled in compliance with UK law. Get in touch to find out more and arrange a free quote.

What is POPS Waste?

Persistent organic pollutants, also known as POPs, are poisonous chemicals found in many products, industrial chemicals, and consumer goods.

Items containing these toxic substances include upholstered furniture, flame retardant materials, plastics, rubber, electrical devices, pesticides, paints, sealants, and adhesives, to name a few. The production and sale of products containing persistent organic pollutants was banned in the UK in 2007 (with a few exceptions subject to specific regulations).

When disposed of incorrectly, harmful chemicals can be released into the environment, contaminating soil, water, organisms, and the food chain. These toxic chemicals can cause significant danger to health such as cancers, birth defects and other serious health problems. As a result, all POPs waste must be disposed of according to law.

Recognition and regulation of harmful POPs has developed over several decades. In 2001, a global treaty to eliminate and reduce the release of these chemicals into the environment was adopted. This treaty is known as the Stockholm Convention, and came into force in 2004. Over the years new chemicals have been added to the list of regulated substances.

How to Store & Dispose of Upholstered Seating

The UK government has issued guidance on the storage and safe disposal of domestic upholstered seating that may contain POPs. The materials considered to potentially contain these hazardous chemicals include fabrics, foams, leather and faux leather.

End-of-life domestic seating waste must be stored separately to other materials to prevent damage and contamination of other waste streams.

All upholstered seating containing POPs must be incinerated at a facility that is authorised to accept this waste type. At Countrystyle, we are authorised to process and separate recyclable waste from POPs materials. All waste deemed to contain persistent organic pollutants is recovered and sent for incineration at EfW plants.

What Types of Seating May Contain POPs?

Upholstered seating that that may contain persistent organic pollutants includes:

  • Armchairs
  • Sofas
  • Sofa cushions
  • Floor cushions
  • Sofa beds
  • Futons
  • Bean bags
  • Office chairs
  • Foot stools
  • Stools
  • Kitchen & dining room chairs

Seating that is unlikely to contain POPs includes:

  • Non-upholstered seating
  • Deckchairs
  • Waste form new domestic seating that is proven not to contain POPs

If you are unsure whether your seating is classed as hazardous waste, you can test the material for the presence of POPs or send samples for laboratory analysis.

Alternatively, the original paperwork from the sale of goods should contain information on materials used in the manufacturing process. Another option is to contact the manufacturer for confirmation.

It is important to note that the latest guidance on upholstered domestic seating does not cover legislation on the disposal of mattresses, beds, blinds or curtains.

How to Dispose of Commercial Seating & Office Chairs?

As the legislation above revolves around domestic upholstered seating, you may be wondering what to do with upholstered seating waste from your commercial premises. This is where the rules can become confusing.

As a rule of thumb, end-of-life office seating should be treated in the same way as domestic seating. This is because the materials used in their manufacture may also contain persistent organic pollutants, unless you can prove they do not. If you are unsure, please give us a call and we will be happy to provide expert advice.

Get a quote for Bulky (POPs) Waste Collection

Contact our helpful team for a free quote for POPs waste collection in Kent, London and the South East. We offer a range of solutions for bulky furniture waste at affordable prices.