East London Waste Authority
East London Waste Authority

Damaged Upholstered Furniture

POPs twitter (6)

Disposal guidance for damaged upholstered furniture

Following direction from the Environment Agency, the collection and disposal of upholstered furniture (a chair or other seat covered with cloth and filled with a soft substance) will be changing.

The reason for the change in collection and disposal of these soft furnishings is due to the presence of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

As a result, damaged upholstered furniture will need to be collected separately from other furniture. They will be sent for incineration, rather than recycling, due to the potential of POPs leaching into the environment.

See below a list of examples of upholstered furniture

Should the furniture be in good condition (not damaged in any way, torn or badly stained) and still have the fire retardancy label attached (see below), please consider offering them for reuse. There are dedicated containers at the Chigwell Road and Gerpins Lane Reuse and Recycling Centres (RRCs) for pieces of furniture that could be used by someone else. The staff at the RRCs can check the item for you first, to see if it should be set aside for reuse.

Any items NOT suitable for reuse (damaged or without the fire retardancy label attached) being disposed of at the RRCs, MUST be disposed of in the special areas that are marked with this symbol:


Any items dismantled, torn off or cut up (for example, cutting up a sofa, armchair or other type of furniture to be able to fit it inside your car) MUST be double-bagged. The same applies for any items with loose fabric/upholstery foam.  Bags are to be tied securely before bringing them to the RRC.   These bags must also be put into the special area marked with the ‘Upholstered Furniture’ symbol.  If furniture needs to be broken up, we recommend this is done outdoors.  Items are NOT to be broken up on site at the RRCs.

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Barking & Dagenham