[This post originally appeared here in February 2019. It has been expanded upon, revised, and updated to reflect more recent information.]
Remember the old sofa or that sad looking recliner you saw in the vacant lot near your house? Don't be like that guy! Know how to dump furniture properly.
Of course, you would never do that. But it's pretty apparent that some people do. And they dump old chairs, mattresses and other furniture items in places where they can be a hazard as well as an eyesore.
And someone else has to go and clean it up eventually.
Your Options for Dumping Old Furniture Properly
Old furniture can be a pain to get rid of for a number of reasons. Sometimes literally!
It's usually large, heavy and bulky. As a result, getting most pieces of furniture out of the house is a major task. Not only is it hard to move, it can be dangerous to both you and your walls and doorways.
And that's just the easy part!
You still have to get rid of your old furniture somehow once you do manage to get it outside. This is where many people are tempted to leave their furniture item on the curb near their house with a sign on it saying, "FREE" or, worse, hauling it off to an empty lot or field somewhere and leaving it.
But abandoning your old, unwanted furniture is not the proper way to get rid of it. Not to mention that dumping anything that way is illegal and a potential safety hazard.
Fortunately, you do have a few good options to dump furniture properly.
Let's assume first off that you are not looking to sell your old furniture. If it's usable, relatively clean and in good condition, this could be an option, however. While you won't make enough to pay your rent for the month, you might earn as much as a few hundred dollars depending on how many items you have and the condition they're in.
Selling old furniture can typically be done in at least three ways:
- You can put your items in a garage sale or a yard sale
- You can list them online in places like eBay, Craigslist or Nextdoor.com
- You might be able to place them in a local consignment shop
The biggest downside of the first and third options is transportation. You may still have to get your furniture items out of the house and either onto your driveway - or a neighbor's - or else transport them to the consignment shop.
The downside of online selling is that you have to set up an account, take good photos of your stuff, and write and upload a good listing. Then you still have the items sitting in your house (or storage unit) until you find a buyer.
So, you may have decided not to sell these items. But you could donate them!
While donations are a great way to go for a number of reasons, there are disadvantages to this route, too. Your furniture needs to be in good condition, clean, and you still have to get it to the thrift store or organization, in most instances. There are some entities that offer free pick up, but that may not always be an option.
Perhaps you'd like to have donated your old furniture but it's either too beat up by now, or you just don't have a convenient way to transport it.
So, what do you do with it then?
Why Your Local Landfill Really Doesn't Need Your Old Furniture
We understand that in our modern world of disposal everything that it seems completely normal and acceptable to take "trash" and junk items to a landfill. Especially since you can't stuff them into your residential trash or recycling bin!
While this is certainly preferable to leaving a broken-down piece of old furniture on the side of a backroad somewhere or dumped unceremoniously in an empty lot on the edge of town, it's not much better.
Why is that?
Well, for starters, taking your old items to the dump is not only costly, it adds to an already over-filled waste disposal situation. And it disposes of potentially reusable materials. In fact, in some cases, you may not even have this option because of either local regulations, or a scarcity of available landfills.
So, how bad is it really?
As one article noted,
"According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the amount of furniture and furnishings taken to a landfill rose from 7.6 million tons in 2005 to 9.69 million tons in 2015, and the rate of increase is accelerating."
That was seven years ago. A bit more recently, as another article points out, it was worse,
"According to the EPA, furniture waste generated by Americans in 2017 totaled a staggering 12.2 million tons, and 80.2% of it went to landfill. The agency also found that only 0.3% of the f-waste that was sent to landfill was recovered for recycling. To make matters worse, furniture waste doesn’t include items like carpets and rugs, of which Americans threw away an additional 3.4 million tons in 2017. "
To avoid having most of this old furniture ending up in landfills, the two best options are still reuse and recycling.
As we pointed out earlier, posting old, unwanted furniture items on online site such as Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace is a simple and relatively easy way to find a new home for your gently used pieces.
And, of course, you can take the time and effort to find local charities and non-profit organizations that are happy to accept donated furniture.
But there is still the issue of what to do with old furniture that is broken-down and not useable.
Where to Dump Furniture Responsibly and Professionally
Okay, so maybe it's really "How to dump furniture responsibly and professionally" instead of "Where."
Either way, there is a professional option that is not only affordable, convenient and safe, it's also easy and environmentally friendly.
Here's what we do NOT recommend: having your brother-in-law come by in his truck, load your old furniture, and simply haul it all off to the local landfill.
As we've noted here, dumping in landfills should be an option of last resort.
The good news is there's a better way. When it comes to old furniture, you can still "Recycle, reuse, reduce."
This can mean that some of your old furniture pieces can be refurbished to make "new" items that can be used again. And recycling can definitely be a great option for when you need to dump furniture although there sometimes a few hazardous materials inside of some furniture pieces.
But, that being said, most of the components of your old furniture can be recycled most of the time. And there are some great benefits to recycling your furniture:
- It conserves limited natural resources
- It conserves up to 95 percent of the water used to process many materials
- It helps preserve the forests, which helps to reduce CO2 emissions
- and it reduces fossil fuel use, which reduces CO2 emissions
The bottom line is that recycling is important for the environment and a good furniture removal company will have established recycling and donation relationships with local organizations.
In addition, green technology means that a conscientious firm can incorporate this into their operations. Ask to make sure the furniture removal company you are considering has “green” processes, and not only recycles, but also has processes to have furniture items donated, repurposed, and reused where and when possible.
Dumping Furniture Properly With Junk King
At Junk King, being “green” is part of our company mission.
We accomplish that by recycling, donating, or repurposing everything we possibly can. When it comes to furniture 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, we will transfer it to a local donation center where it can find a new home.
Either way, green junk removal for furniture and appliances makes great sense because there’s simply no easy way to get rid of them yourself. Recycling services from Junk King provides you with these benefits:
We do the heavy lifting and hauling.
No risk of damage to your own vehicle from loading items in the trunk or back seat.
We know where to take pieces for disassembly, so all materials can be recycled or responsibly disposed.
And you can make an appointment with Junk King, so you aren’t stuck with an old furniture or appliances still sitting in your garage or out 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.
Junk King, the best in old furniture removal and pick up, also makes sure that old furniture ends up where it can be reused responsibly.
Simply call us at 1-888-888-JUNK  or book online to schedule a free on-site estimate.