Highbridge recycling centre has launched a new separate area for the disposal of items of home furniture.
It comes as 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 furniture.
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.”
The new disposal skips are sign-posted ‘upholstered household seating’.
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.
Cllr Dyke adds: “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, including the one at Highbridge on the Isleport Business Park which serves the Burnham-On-Sea area.
It is open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 9:00am – 5:00pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00am – 4:00pm.