Waste Industry Regulation for upholstered furniture

2023 Legislation for the disposal of upholstered furniture

Waste Industry Regulation for upholstered furniture

Regulation is in force (from 1st January 2023) to safely dispose of any upholstered furniture which has reached the end of its natural life. The legislation applies to both businesses and domestic situations.

From this date, upholstered furniture cannot be safely disposed of in general waste or in landfill sites, and should be treated differently to general waste. This means the items cannot be recycled, reused or repurposed. Instead, these soft furnishings must be safely disposed of through incineration.

So when you are replacing your old office upholstered furniture (see examples below) your waste disposal company will no longer be able to collect any of these items if they are left outside as part of your general waste.


Why is this necessary?

These types of items could contain Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) which are harmful to the environment, wildlife and humans if not disposed of safely. Investigative work carried out by The Environment Agency has identified quantities of POPs and other hazardous chemicals in the foam of upholstered seating, as well as associated textiles which can come into contact with the foam.


What do businesses and consumers need to do?

From the 1st of January 2023, Hills Waste Solutions will be unable to collect and dispose of the following items: 


Sofas Foots Stools
Sofa Beds Office Chairs
Futons Cushions
Bean Bags Bar Stools
Chairs Armchairs

The legislation also includes items of upholstered furniture which contains fabrics such as leather, synthetic leather or fabrics or foam.
According to The Environment Agency, the only unaffected items are:


a) Items not upholstered (e.g. wooden chairs without any textile or cushioning)
b) Deckchairs
c) Mattresses or beds
d) Curtains or blinds
e) Items which are known not to contain POPs


Your business should:

1. Assume any item of upholstered furniture may contain POPs, unless it can be demonstrated otherwise
2. Segregate any upholstered items from all other types of waste – do not contaminate the other waste types with this material
3. Where possible remove affected POP materials from non-affected materials
4. Notify your waste management company of the material to be collected


Your Questions answered:

Is all upholstered furniture affected by this legislation?

Many UK manufacturers stopped using POPs in their furniture by 2005 so not all upholstered furniture may be affected. However please read our guidance notes above or contact us for more information.

Contact us
If you would like to talk to us about how POPs legislation may affect your business, please contact our Customer Support Team between 08.30 - 17.00 Monday to Friday, by clicking the button below. 




Further information on POPs and the legislation can be found here: