Customer Notification: Guidance Issued for PersistEnt Organic Pollutants

Please find below important information on the disposal of waste containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPS).

In August 2022, the Environment Agency issued a letter directly to local authorities advising on legal requirements [1] for the collection and disposal of upholstered domestic seating, due to the presence of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in both the textiles and foam found in this type of waste. 

The advice stated that from 1st January 2023 upholstered domestic seating containing POPs must not be:

  • Landfilled
  • Mixed with other non-POPs containing wastes
  • Re-used or recycled

We were not directly informed or consulted by the Environment Agency and owing to the significant implications this has on our ability to receive and handle this waste, we are urgently seeking clarification and further guidance. It is reported that this position is widely shared across the waste management industry and local authorities nationwide [2].

At the time of writing, we have been informed by the Environment Agency that the guidance is applicable to all waste collection and disposal operators, including the private sector, and we will be required to make significant changes to our waste acceptance procedures, operational equipment and commercial arrangements to comply within the timeframe (7 weeks, including the festive period).

What does this mean for you?

Until we receive further clarification and guidance from the Environment Agency, we are unfortunately unable to state exactly how this will impact the services we provide to you, but it will undoubtedly result in changes to the way we conduct our services and consequent prices.

We fully appreciate that this is an unwelcome change in the current economic climate, but the guidance will have a significant impact on the industry nationwide and we must respond to the legislation accordingly. We will write to you once we have a comprehensive understanding on the exact impact and consequent changes we will make to our services and prices.

If you have any questions relating to this matter, please do not hesitate to contact us here. We remain committed to providing an excellent service to you and thank-you for you continued understanding and support.

[1] The Persistent Organic Pollutants Regulations 2007 (as amended) and Retained Regulation (EU) 2019/1021 on persistent organic pollutants as amended by the Persistent Organic Pollutants (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.


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Luke Haskell
30 November 2022