November Recycling Challenge: Recycle More Furniture
Maybe you’re sprucing up your home before Christmas and thinking of investing in a new sofa? This is all good, but consider what might happen to your old one. You can contact your local council to come and collect it, but this is not usually a free service, and many people end up dumping them.
The other final destination for sofas is landfill, where toxic substances can leach into the ground and waterways. Fly-tipping is illegal, and sending everything to landfill sites is not sustainable or good for the planet, so what else can you do with your trusty old sofas?
How to recycle sofas
Sell or donate it
If your sofa is still in good condition, why not donate it to charity? Some organisations like the Furniture Re-Use Network will even pick it up for you.
You can also try your luck on eBay, though remember you will have to pay a fee, whereas you can list items for free on places like Facebook Marketplace.
Ask around your friends and family
Someone you know might be looking for a sofa, or know someone who is. If your sofa is in good condition, you’ll find someone who wants to take it off your hands.
Does it really need to be thrown out?
Does your sofa really need to be replaced? Could you have it cleaned or reupholstered, or could it be used in another room? Reupholstering isn’t cheap, and you may end up spending what you would on a new couch, but the plus side is that you can get your sofa completely customised.
Sofas and mattresses have a lot in common. They are both made up of many different materials that can be broken down and recycled. Recycling facilities can separate the wood, fabric, foam, and springs and turn them into new items.
Tips for buying sofas in the future
Buy a good quality sofa that is built to last, and take care of it. Even if you do want to get rid of it down the line, keeping it in good condition means that you might be able to sell it. Try to keep your pets from scratching it, and repair any damage that needs repairing.
The Furniture Re-use Network
This is a national organisation that supports reuse organisations across the UK. They work to reduce the impact of poverty by providing low-income households access to furniture and white goods at a price they can afford. They also support these organisations to provide training and work placements for people who might be excluded from education and employment.
Every year, reuse organisations
- Provides almost 50,000 volunteers, and people on work placements
- Helps around 1.5 million people in low income households
- Diverts 117,450 tonnes of waste from landfill
- Saves over 125,600 tonnes of CO2