Councillors are hoping urgent solutions can be found for Fenland residents hit with a waste suspension. 

The call comes after Cambridgeshire County Council suspended any upholstered domestic seating waste, such as sofas and cushions, from being taken to its nine household waste recycling centres. 

“Although this is not a problem of our making, Fenland District Council (FDC) is urgently looking into providing a temporary solution for residents looking to dispose of upholstered seating following the change,” said a FDC spokesperson. 

“[This is because] we understand the inconvenience to residents and the potential for other issues, such as fly-tipping.” 

The suspension, which began from January 1, came after the county council was given until December 31 by the Environment Agency (EA) to comply with laws on disposing waste containing persistent organic pollutants (POPs).  

This legislation requires any POPs waste to be incinerated and not landfilled, including any non-POPs waste that may have come into contact with it and may be contaminated. 

Some of the Fenland household waste recycling centres affected include March, Wisbech and Whittlesey. 

Sofas, upholstered chairs and other domestic seating waste will not be collected as part of FDC’s bulky waste collections. 

Cllr Peter Murphy, FDC’s portfolio holder for the environment, said: “It was extremely unfortunate to learn that this direction was coming into force on January 1 before alternative arrangements could be put in place. 

“We also fully understand residents’ frustration at this news and are working closely with Cambridgeshire County Council, as waste disposal authority, to urgently provide both temporary and long-term solutions.” 

Residents are advised to take advantage of reuse schemes, retailer take-back schemes, or hold onto seating wastes items until a further update on the suspension is issued. 

Those wishing to use a private waste collection service to dispose upholstered domestic seating waste should check that waste carriers are licenced and are taking these items for incineration. 

Residents face the risk of prosecution as well as the waste carrier if items are fly-tipped. 

For more information on fly-tipping and how to report this, visit: