Reuse charity amends policy due to waste regulations update

Furniture reuse charity Home Basics has announced a policy change in upholstered furniture to fall in line with recent SEPA guidance.

Home Basics, which operates retail outlets in Walkerburn and Hawick, can no longer accept any upholstered seating for reuse if there is any damage to the item due to changes in waste disposal regulations.

Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are hazardous chemicals that, once released into the environment, pose risks to human health and ecosystems. These “forever chemicals” include substances such as DecaBDE and HBCDD, used in fire-retardant treatments for upholstered domestic seating.

SEPA’s 2024 guidance mandates that domestic upholstered seating which is not fit for reuse must be incinerated through specialist contractors potentially incurring significant costs. Disposal via landfill is no longer permissible. Unusable items have to be stored and transported separate from other waste.

“As a result, Home Basics has to check and ensure that any domestic upholstered furniture which it accepts must be suitable for reuse and does not have any damage whatsoever,” a statement said. “We apologise for any inconvenience that this causes and appreciate that donors understand that this situation is beyond our control.”

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