Commercial Skip HireGreen Waste ManagementResidential Skip HireWaste Management

The dangers of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

The dangers of Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs)

Hiring a skip is a great way to get rid of any unwanted items from decorating or building work, a home clearout or a tidy up of your garden. But, before you go throwing everything and anything into it, check out exactly what you are allowed and not allowed to put in a standard domestic skip, as there are some restricted items, in particular those containing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

Persistent Organic Pollutants are dangerous and toxic chemical compounds which can stay in the environment for a long time and travel large distances via air, water and migrating animals. They can easily get into ecosystems and food chains, causing significantly negative effects on human health and the environment.

At Rabbit Skip Hire, we only accept items which contain POPs as long as we are made aware of them first. There is also an extra charge for us to handle POPs items because they need to be disposed of separately.

Where are POPs found?

In the past POPs were used in pesticides and industrial chemicals, and then released into the environment during chemical and agricultural processes. Before their use was banned, they were also used in the manufacture of wide range consumer products, including mattresses and upholstered domestic seating, such as sofas, sofa beds, armchairs and bean bags – in fact any piece of furniture containing leather, synthetic leather, other fabric or foam. While these toxic compounds may be trapped within the confines of the piece of furniture itself throughout its life, the danger to health and the environment occurs when it is broken down for disposal, releasing the toxic chemicals. It is for this reason that items containing POPs cannot therefore be disposed of in the same way as normal waste.

Correct disposal of waste containing POPs

If you are disposing of waste containing POPs, you need to do so in the correct way. From 1st January 2023 new legislation from the Environment Agency came into effect regarding the storage and disposal of upholstered domestic seating containing POPs.

​​It stipulates that upholstered domestic seating containing POPs must be stored and disposed of in a way that prevents:

  • damaging it
  • the release of POPs
  • contamination with other waste

This is not achievable when such items are disposed of in a skip along with other items, as they can become mixed in with the non-toxic waste. Items containing POPs need go to an authorised treatment plant which can safely separate the items, components or materials from other waste.

This new legislation means that skip hire companies, including Rabbit Skip Hire, need to take great care before accepting any items of domestic upholstered seating in their skips, therefore it’s always better to check the requirements of your skip hire company before booking a skip.

For further details on the POPs guidance and legislation, visit the UK Government website or you can find out what types of waste upholstered domestic seating contain POPs, before you make a decision on how to dispose of your waste.

Hire your skip now

Book your skip hire using our online booking system.

Rabbit Skip Hire is an established and expert supplier of skips for commercial and domestic projects of all sizes throughout East and West Sussex.

To find out more about Rabbit Skip Hire’s reliable and expert skip hire contact our expert and friendly team on 01903 762020, email or fill out our online skip hire contact form.

Rabbit Skip Hire is part of the Rabbit Group of companies, which includes Rabbit Demolition, Rabbit & Dowling Plant Hire and Rabbit Toilet Hire.