Separate bins for domestic upholstered seating introduced

Following recent new guidance from the Environment Agency, Chippenham residents will see new bins at the Household Recycling Centre 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.  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 you do not need to get rid of household furniture items if they are not damaged.  However, if you are disposing of seating items that are ripped or damaged, you may wish to take sensible precautions such as wearing disposable gloves or washing hands after handling. 

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