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What You Should Know About Recycling Old Furniture

Posted by Junk King on Jul 28, 2017 5:22:24 PM

Got furniture? In 2016, there were about 126 million households in the United States. That means there are large amounts of old furniture being disposed of each year.

what-you-should-know-about-recycling-old-furniture

Whether it’s for your home, or your place of business, at some point you have to get new furniture. And replacing furniture means getting rid of the old stuff. But can you dispose of old furniture in an eco-friendly way?

As a homeowner, you may have found yourself needing to replace your old furniture, but either didn’t have the time to do it. Or perhaps you have already bought your new furniture and now you have the old pieces sitting around the house and collecting dust.

Perhaps that’s your situation now. You wanted to get rid of your old furniture, but simply didn’t have the manpower to do it. After you went and bought that new furniture months (or years!) ago you still have the old pieces taking up space in spare rooms or the garage. Sure, you thought about putting it all on Craigslist or eBay, but either you never quite got around to it, or you did try, and got no takers.

The Challenge of Office Furniture Removal

There are few things can test a company’s organization and efficiency having to either relocate  or replace the office furniture Both scenarios often involve getting rid of all the old junk, used office equipment, and especially the old office furniture. Having to decide whether to keep or dispose of your existing furniture and equipment is difficult enough, but deciding how to best get rid of it all can be even harder.

While it may seem that simply taking everything to the dump is the easy answer, it’s not as easy as it seems.  This task involves a great deal of labor, logistics, time… and money. In addition, it requires vehicles that suitable for the job and you need to have the people available to make one or more trips to the local dump or landfill.

On the other hand, a great option is to donate your used office furniture and old office equipment. However, this too, can require a great amount of effort to carry out efficiently. And, if yours is an especially large business location with a number of offices or buildings that are either being upgraded or relocated, the task becomes exponentially more complicated.

Furniture Removal and Disposal is a Big Job Anytime

As we pointed out previously, there are a number of good reasons to acquire new furniture. For example, replacing an old bed can be a great thing when your old one is no longer doing the job well. It’s not unusual to end up purchasing an entire bedroom set when getting a new bed. Depending on where you get the bed, many vendors will take your old mattress away for you. However, that’s not true for the bed. Nor your old bedroom furniture! 

No matter how many items you need to get rid of, old furniture removal and disposal can be huge job. Not only do you need to dismantle the pieces and then carry all those pieces out of the building, you then have to figure out how you’re going to dispose of all the pieces and debris. Keep in mind that many localities prohibit leaving specific furniture items on the curb. And even if you can go this route, in order to have the municipal waste management company pick it up must rely on their schedule.

In addition, you still need to do all the heavy lifting!

Sell It If You Can or Give It Away

Fortunately, you have a few good options aside from dumping your old furniture in the local landfill. Donating used furniture is always a great choice and you are not limited to the standard thrift store route. Re-use is a beneficial approach to finding new homes for your old furniture.

For example, there are many non-profit organizations that can use your old furniture in lobbies, bedrooms, and break-rooms. There are numbers of shelters, non-profit facilities and various charitable agencies that have need of both office and household goods. 

Selling your old furniture can be a challenge, but there are yard sale approaches in addition to online sites, as previously mentioned. While it can take time and persistence, selling your pieces can generate some extra cash that can offset the cost of your new furniture. And, if you are lucky, someone else will load them in the truck!

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There is Always a Better Option Than Dumping

If you’ve decided to have your old, unwanted furniture hauled off instead of selling or donating it, what are your options?

In most situations, you have two choices:

  • If you’re a homeowner you can use the family SUV or truck to haul your furniture to the local landfill. This is not an option for everyone since a suitable vehicle isn't always available. And it is hard and even dangerous work.
  • Your second option is to hire someone else to come and haul the items off for you. This is a common approach for businesses and it can make your life easier, but it costs more.

The inconvenient truth, however, is that the landfills probably don't need more old recliners or sofas. Nor do they need office chairs or desks.

A better approach would be to arrange for your old furniture items to be picked up and recycled. The re-use/recycling option is also a great way to help keep the environment healthy and the landfills minimized.

The choice of recycling your old furniture and equipment becomes all the more critical because of new legislation regarding dumping.Many counties and municipalities have enacted Zero Waste initiatives and Landfill Diversion goals over the last few years. These have been designed to accelerate recycling efforts and, ultimately, reduce overall waste and landfill use.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are a number of benefits to consider:

Benefits of Reducing and Reusing
  • Prevents pollution caused by reducing the need to harvest new raw materials
  • Saves energy
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations
  • Saves money
  • Reduces the amount of waste that will need to be recycled or sent to landfills and incinerators
  • Allows products to be used to their fullest extent

In addition, they offer some great ideas for minimizing the overall demand for manufactured items:

  • Ideas on How to Reduce and Reuse

    Buy used. You can find everything from clothes to building materials at specialized reuse centers and consignment shops. Often, used items are less expensive and just as good as new.
  • Look for products that use less packaging. When manufacturers make their products with less packaging, they use fewer raw materials. This reduces waste and costs. These extra savings can be passed along to the consumer. Buying in bulk, for example, can reduce packaging and save money.
  • Buy reusable over disposable items. Look for items that can be reused; the little things can add up. For example, you can bring your own silverware and cup to work, rather than using disposable items.
  • Maintain and repair products, like clothing, tires and appliances, so that they won't have to be thrown out and replaced as frequently.
  • Borrow, rent or share items that are used infrequently, like party decorations, tools or furniture.

As a nation, we not only produce massive quantities of manufactured goods, we also dispose of massive quantities of waste. According to recent statistics from the EPA:

In 2014, in the United States, about 258 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) were generated. Over 89 million tons of MSW were recycled and composted, equivalent to a 34.6 percent recycling rate. In addition, over 33 million tons of MSW were combusted with energy recovery and 136 million tons were landfilled.

Old furniture contributed a significant portion of these solid waste:

Plastics comprised about 13 percent of MSW; rubber, leather and textiles accounted for over nine percent; and metals made up nine percent.  Wood followed at over six percent, and glass over four percent.  Other miscellaneous wastes made up approximately three percent of the MSW generated in 2014.

 

Recycling Also Means Furniture

Sometimes you only have one piece of old furniture that you can't seem to sell and no one wants to take it even for free. And even though there are often dilapidated couches or recliners seen sitting on the side of a road where they’ve been illegally deposited during the night, we understand that this is not the best way to get rid of old furniture!

The state of California, for example, has a directory on the CalRecycle website that lists over 30 household and office item resources. These include both government agencies as well as non-profit organizations that are set up to receive and process donated furniture, among other goods. In many cases, these donations are also tax deductible, as well.

Choosing to have your old furniture recycled or reused is a significant decision. There are a number of good reasons why recycling old furniture is eco-friendly. Here are just a few of them:

  • It reduces the need for new building material which is often wood that must be harvested from.
  • It keeps your furniture components from ending up in a landfill where certain materials such as plastics and foam can decompose and create hazardous waste issues with the release harmful chemicals and gases.
  • It contributes to energy conservation since the used to recycle old furniture is typically far less than what is required to manufacture new furniture.

When it comes to residential furniture, there are basically two options for “recycling” or reusing your old items:

  • You can dismantle your furniture and drop it off at a local recycling center. Fortunately, there are hundreds of recycling centers around the country that accept various materials to be reused.
  • Find your local furniture removal specialists who offer recycling services, like Junk King.

So, what types of furniture items are we talking about? Whether you are talking about your offices, or your house or apartment, you probably have a wide variety of furniture that may need to be disposed of. These items can include:

  • Couches
  • Sofas
  • Sofa Beds
  • Mattresses
  • Chairs
  • Tables
  • Bookcases
  • Cubicles
  • Desks
  • File Cabinets
  • Boxes
  • Armoires
  • Tool Units

Recycling Options for Wood Furniture

Many wood furniture pieces such as tables, office chairs, desks and cabinets are often made of treated wood and include veneers of man-made materials. This creates issues for successfully recycling these pieces. Because of the chemicals in the varnishes, paints, adhesives and other wood treatment products, these materials cannot be used for the more typical applications such as mulch and so on.

Unless you are getting rid of very old furniture or very high-end all wood furniture, your pieces are likely constructed with less-expensive particleboard and chipboard materials. The problem again is that these products are not recyclable.

If you find that there are no programs in your area that accepts treated wood for, the best option for this type of furniture is to find a new home for it, or find a way to reuse it.

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Recycling Challenges with Stuffed Furniture

Most every sofa, couch, recliner, or padded office chair has the same problem with cushion materials. These are usually difficult to recycle and the material is often toxic. Fortunately, you can often recycle the cushions if they are made of polyurethane foam and you can find a commercial source for recycling. Unfortunately, many municipal recycling facilities do not take foam materials.

Because the remainder of the furniture piece will be made of wood, fabric, plastic and metal, most of these materials can be easily recycled once you have dismantled the item.

Disposing of Old Beds and Mattress

Junk removal firms, such as Junk King, can provide professional mattress disposal and bed spring removal services. Disposing of used mattresses, box springs and furniture is difficult since they cannot be dumped into the usual landfill sites. This is because mattress materials contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment. However, certain mattress types can be broken down and the salvageable components removed and recycled.

In addition, if your old mattress is usable, it can also be donated instead of disposed of. If the bed springs or bed frame is not reusable it can be taken to a local recycling service location and broken down in order to reuse the bed frame parts and pieces.

Your Best Partners for Recycling Your Furniture

At Junk King, we make sure that your old furniture items end up in the right place: whether it be a charity if the pieces of furniture are still in good shape for a donation, or a recycling facility to ensure your furniture is disposed of in an eco-friendly way.

Junk removal for appliances makes great sense because there’s simply no easy way to get rid of them yourself. Appliance recycling from Junk King takes care of the trouble:

  • We do the heavy lifting and hauling.
  • No need to risk damage to your vehicle by loading appliances in the trunk or back seat.
  • We know where to take appliances for disassembly, so all materials can be recycled or responsibly disposed.
  • You can make an appointment with Junk King, so you aren’t stuck with an old appliance sitting in your garage or on the curb!

Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly furniture removal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of those old items. Not only that, but we make sure that your old furniture items end up in the right place: whether it be a charity if the pieces of furniture are still in good shape for a donation, or a recycling facility to ensure your furniture is disposed of in an eco-friendly way.

Why Junk King Recycles as Much as Possible

Being green is part of our company mission. We back that up by recycling, donating, or repurposing everything we possibly can. When it comes to appliance removal, we take the eco-friendly route by making sure the metal, plastics, and other materials involved get broken down and recycled properly.

If the item can be reused, Junk King will transfer it to a local donation center where it can find a new home.

Junk King can efficiently and affordably pick that old junk up for you. Call 1-888-888-JUNK or book online to schedule a free on site estimate. . Junk King, the best in old furniture removal and pick up, also makes sure that old furniture end up where it can be reused responsibly.

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Topics: Old Furniture, Recycle Furniture, Old Furniture Pick Up, office junk removal, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, furniture disposal

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