Separate bins for domestic upholstered seating to be introduced at Wiltshire's Household Recycling Centres

Following recent new guidance from the Environment Agency, residents will see new bins at Wiltshire's Household Recycling Centres allocated for the separate disposal of upholstered domestic seating, such as sofas, armchairs, and home office chairs.

Published 18 January 2023
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Following recent new guidance from the Environment Agency, residents will see new bins at Wiltshire's Household Recycling Centres allocated for the separate disposal of upholstered domestic seating, such as sofas, armchairs, and home office chairs. 

New Environment Agency requirements mean that certain items can no longer be sent to landfill and must be disposed of by incineration.  In Wiltshire, these items will be sent to facilities that create energy from waste. The new rules have been put in place because some upholstered seating may contain Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) that are harmful to the environment if sent to landfill. POPs can be found in the fire-retardant chemicals used in the padding, linings and coverings of upholstered domestic seating.   

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are chemicals that accumulate and remain in the environment for long periods and can have harmful impacts on wildlife and the wider environment if sent to landfill.  

Upholstered domestic seating includes items such as:  

  • Sofas  
  • Armchairs  
  • Home office chairs  
  • Futons  
  • Pouffes, upholstered foot stalls  
  • Upholstered dining chairs  
  • Bean bags  
  • Sofa and floor cushions  

 The risk to human health from handling these types of un-damaged waste upholstered seating is minimal and people do not need to get rid of household furniture items if they are not damaged.  However, if people are disposing of seating items that are ripped or damaged, they may wish to take sensible precautions such as wearing disposable gloves or washing hands after handling. Visitors to the household recycling sites should bring their own hand sanitizer. 

If people visit the sites to dispose of upholstered seating items, they are encouraged to speak to site staff who will direct them to the correct container.   

 Waste upholstered seating collected through the council's large item collection service will also be managed in accordance with the new guidance. These collections should continue to be booked as normal. If anyone would like more information on the large item collection service offered by the council, please visit www.wiltshire.gov.uk/large-item-collection.

Cllr Nick Holder, Wiltshire Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, said: These new requirements have been introduced to protect our environment and it's important we comply.  

We're doing what we can to limit any inconvenience for residents that visit our recycling centres or use our collection service. 

Through our actions we'll mitigate the environmental impacts of Persistent Organic Pollutants locally and ensure that we continue to deliver on our Business Plan priority of Wiltshire being a place where we all take responsibility for the environment, while reducing the amount of waste sent to landfill.

More information about Persistent Organic Pollutants can be found at Identify and classify waste containing persistent organic pollutants - GOV.UK.

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Published 18 January 2023