Saying “so long” to an old sofa? Somerset’s recycling sites now have a separate skip for the disposal of upholstered home furniture.

New government regulations mean that recycling sites across the UK have to handle ‘upholstered household seating’ separately from other waste.

This includes sofas, sofa beds, armchairs, kitchen and dining room chairs, stools and foot stools, home office chairs, futons, bean bags, floor, and sofa cushions.

It also includes any upholstery – filling and covers – that may have been removed from the furniture.

The new skips are sign-posted ‘upholstered household seating’. They will be staffed, so if you are not sure, please ask.

The change aims to reduce the environmental risk posed by the possible presence of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in these items.

POPs were historically used in some fire retardants applied to soft household seating.

Although the quantities that could be present in the home are not thought to be hazardous, POPs can be released into the environment when items are broken up.

The new arrangements are in line with Environment Agency advice and guidance.

Councillor Sarah Dyke, Chair of the Somerset Waste Board, said:

“This change is about protecting the environment which is something the partnership takes very seriously.

“I’d like to thank site staff for setting up the new arrangements and encourage the public to make sure they use the right skip if they are disposing of these items. If you’re not sure, just ask.”

Somerset has 16 recycling sites. For details of opening hours, items taken and charges where appropriate visit Find your nearest recycling centre

picture of a grey sofa with yellow cushions in a yellow living room

About this article

January 17, 2023

Sophie H