February 27, 2023

EA new POPs compliance requirements

Waste management prices to rise due to EA new POPs compliance requirements

Are you up to date on the latest waste management legislation covering Persistent Organic Pollutants?

The updated compliance requirements signed off by the UK Government in December 2022 will come into effect in March 2023.  

How will this affect you (and your business)? Quite simply, as from March disposing of the items that are covered under the guidelines will be more complicated and expensive for both individuals and waste management professionals. The new guidelines require POPs waste to be identified, preserved and handled separately, this will result in higher costs for both waste management services and clients alike.  

Prices are set to rise for the removal POP contamination items across the board after the guidelines come into play. Additional cost will be incurred should a client not identify a POP contaminated item, making it necessary for the waste removal team to return to remove the item safely, ensuring the correct non-contamination procedures.

What are POPs?

POPs, as they are commonly known, are hazardous chemical pollutants such as the chemicals used as flame retardants in upholstery, furniture and textile prior to 2019, and pesticides and industrial chemicals. EU legislation goes even further, identifying waterproof textiles and fire extinguisher foam present in wood and others materials as POPs.  

These chemicals are extremely dangerous to global health and ecosystems. Once they have entered the ground, air or the water system, they remain for many years which then accumulates in the food chain and subsequently builds up to toxic levels in both wildlife and humans.  

Although these types of pollutants are no longer used in the manufacture of sofas, beanbags and chairs etc, they can often be found in older items and therefore need to be treated as hazardous waste and disposed of accordingly.  

New compliance for POPs hazardous waste disposal

The new rules apply to both the person (waste producer) disposing of the waste and professional waste clearance service such as G& S Clearance based in Brighton.  

Here is a summery of how the compliance will affect you:

1.The client must assess any items that need to be removed and state whether they do or ‘could’ contain POPs.  

2.The client will take reasonable steps to avoid contaminating other elements with POPs.

3. The waste clearance service must provide facilities to separate and pre-treat POP contaminated waste. This must be carried out by December 2024.  

4.The waste removal service team should take all reasonable steps to avoid contamination of non-POPs waste.  

5. Both parties, the client and the waste removal service, must ensure that POP contaminated items are not damaged, to avoid any leakage and contamination, duration collection, removal and disposal process.  

How G&S Clearance can help

As a long-established waste management service operating in Brighton and the Sussex region, the team is fully compliant in all Environmental Agency requirements and duty of care. We hold the necessary licences and are fully conversant with any new laws and guidelines, specifically regarding safe disposal and working practices.  

We are also committed to sustainability and protecting the environment, so we welcome the government’s new POP guidelines, as step in the right direction for a safer greener environment. We will make sure that any items that can be recycled or re-used will be given a second-life, this also includes POP contaminated items, where possible.  

Our aim is to make the waste removal process as quick and easy as possible, which also includes safe waste handling. We’ll ask you to describe the items earmarked for removal to help you assess if they fall within the new POPs guidelines.  If in doubt, simply tell us the item and the age etc or send a photo and we’ll try to establish whether it would require special POPs waste management procedures.  

In order to adhere to the new compliance requirements, we have already converted our facilities to ensure we are fully compliant prior to the final deadline in December 2024.  

The POPs legislation will come into effect in March 2023, so if you have some POPs items to be removed, get in touch today for a personalised quote. For information about G&S Clearances about WEEE and hazardous waste management services visit our website www.gsclearance.co.uk or call 01273 303 278.

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