By Larraine Roulston:
If you are in the throes of either redecorating or downsizing, it’s a great opportunity to recycle your existing household furniture. As well, when looking to replace or add more furnishings, re-stores and charity shops are becoming known for selling good quality furniture at reasonable prices.
The most effective method of recycling furniture with the lowest environmental impact is simply to give furniture to a local friend or relative for pickup. Failing personal contacts, donate items to a charity shop near you. Some nonprofit charitable groups offer donor receipts for usable items. By labeling unwanted furnishings with a “Free” sign and placing them at the curbside separate from your regular garbage pickup location, everything most likely will be scooped up within the week.
By supporting Emmaus, a charity in the UK that employs the homeless to repair and recycle furniture, your donations will help to uplift those in need. Emmaus allows people to live within one of their 28 communities, where they learn to refurbish furniture for resale to the public. Established in 1991, Emmaus has benefited many people with a powerful new start in life through learning skills, and finding employment and self-worth.
You can also be confident that your discarded furniture will be recycled by sourcing a removal clearance company such as EnviroWaste. With these organizations that embody social and environmentally friendly solutions, your rubbish clearance day will not have a negative impact on the environment.
Your community may have a Furniture Reuse Network. Their initiatives and connections include charitable and reuse organizations that keep furniture out of landfills. Not only can you discard large items but also find new-to-you furnishings.
With a little more effort, there are several ways to sell or find secondhand furniture by advertising via the Internet, free ad sites, newspapers, or hosting a garage sale. Freecycle, Kijiji, eBay and Gumtree are sites that allow users to post their needs.
If a household liquidation outlet is located in your area, you may be able to trade some of your unwanted furniture for something they have on hand.
Perhaps a theatre group has need of vintage or modern household furniture for props. Another creative approach, if you are so inclined, is to look for do-it-yourself ways to fix or repurpose what you already possess.
Office furniture consisting mostly of desks and filing cabinets, as well, should not be overlooked for recycling. To serve the Toronto area workplace, staff at Green Standard have been one of the city’s eco-champions and outline their criteria on How to Get Rid of Used Office Furniture (the Right Way).
With today’s awareness of resource management, unwanted furniture can be repaired, revamped, reused, or taken apart for recycling. Many new jobs are being created in a new circular economy.
Larraine authors a children’s book series on composting and pollinating at www.castlecompost.com