Upholstered furniture recycling costs in Renfrewshire on the rise – Daily Record

The price for residents to have disposed-of furniture collected by the council in Renfrewshire has increased.

Sofas, armchairs and other upholstered items will also no longer be accepted at some household waste recycling centres (HWRC) in the area.

And residents wanting them collected for disposal will have to pay £45 per item. Previously, upholstered furniture was collected along with other bulky items and the charge was £37.15. The new rules came into effect on Thursday, February 1.

The items are said to contain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) – chemical substances that are known to stay intact, do not break down and can have a harmful impact on human health and the wider environment.

And new guidance from the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) states these items should be kept separate from other waste items to avoid contamination in the recycling process – thus incurring an additional cost.

Sofas, sofa beds, armchairs, kitchen and dining room chairs, stools and foot stools, home office chairs, futons, bean bags, floor and sofa cushions and electrical recliner chairs are examples of items that can no longer be taken to the majority of HWRCs. Linwood HWRC will be the only location where they can be disposed of as a dedicated upholstered seating container will be situated here.

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Damaged, ripped or torn items that may contain POPs must be covered with sheeting and secured with tape prior to collection.

Convener of Renfrewshire Council’s infrastructure, land and environment board, Councillor Michelle Campbell, said: “The risk posed by POPs from upholstered furniture is low but the potential harm increases when it comes to disposing of them.

“This is why it’s important that we follow the guidance set out by SEPA to ensure we are playing our part to reduce any risks to health or the environment by getting rid of these items in the right way.”

If upholstered furniture items are in good condition and still have their fire safety labels, the council encourages residents to consider donating them to a local charity shop instead.

Gary Walker, waste and landfill tax manager at the SEPA, said: “POPs have been identified as priority substances for many years and the UK, as part of the international community, is committed to reduce and eliminate their production, use and release. The UK signed up to the Stockholm Convention in May 2001 and its requirements, implemented through UK POPs Regulations, came into force in May 2005.

“SEPA are reacting to DEFRA-commissioned research which has highlighted for the first time that some waste upholstered domestic seating fall within the scope of the statutory requirements of the Stockholm Convention and associated UK regulations.

“This requires a major shift in the collection handling and disposal of waste upholstered domestic seating. POPs cannot be landfilled: they can only be incinerated to destroy or irreversibly transform the POPs.

“SEPA has been engaging with waste managers in local authorities and the private sector to highlight the need to bring their operations into compliance, has issued guidance and is providing support to the waste sector during its transition into compliance.”

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