Disposing of furniture in your Business


The Environment Agency (EA) recently announced changes to the way waste containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) are required to be handled and treated.

As a valued customer of ours, we wanted to ensure that you were informed of these latest changes. Please read this document carefully to ensure you are fully aware of this latest government guidance when it comes to compliantly handling your waste.

Due to this legislation, old furniture must be separated from other wastes including general waste to ensure it is disposed of correctly – the waste MUST go to incineration. It is not easy to identify these wastes (you need to use an x-ray to scan for bromine) so we must label all old furniture as containing POPs unless you can provide evidence against this

Whilst the Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations (POPs) have been in place since 2007, the Environment Agency has now clarified that it will be measuring waste compliance against these regulations.

The Environment Agency says it will carry out assessments of compliance across the waste management sector from 1st January 2023.

Examples of items that contain POPs include all upholstered seating, waste sofas and armchairs.

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) remain intact in the environment for long periods, and if not disposed of properly, become widely distributed geographically. They accumulate in the fatty tissue of humans, wildlife and have harmful impacts on both human health and the environment.

The Environment Agency has undertaken an investigation and confirmed the widespread presence of very large quantities of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and other hazardous chemicals in both the textiles and foam of upholstered domestic seating.

The law requires that POPs in waste are destroyed to prevent lasting environmental harm and impacts on the food chain. This means waste containing POPs must be incinerated and must not be reused, recycled, or landfilled.

As part of this clarification, the Environment Agency has stated that the landfilling of wastes suspected of containing POPs, includes:

  • Sofas
  • Sofa beds
  • Armchairs
  • Kitchen and dining room chairs
  • Stools and footstools
  • Home office chairs
  • Futons
  • Beanbags, floor and sofa cushions

Also, any part made of or containing leather (inc. synthetic leather), other fabric or foam will be prohibited from 1st January 2023. This includes waste derived from the treatment of POPs contaminated material.

If you feel like any of your furniture waste fits into this category, please contact your Account Manager who can advise on the best disposal method and handling on-site.

The below link explains in further detail.

  • Identify and classify waste containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) – GOV.UK (