How to Recycle Old Furniture

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. free-chairs-main
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.
planter-boxYou 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).
rewamped-furnitureWith 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.
Related Links:
The Freecycle Network
Gumtree | Free classified ads from the #1 classifieds site in the UK
Larraine authors a children’s book series on composting and pollinating at www.castlecompost.com

Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.


  1. Reply


    November 14, 2016

    Love this concept! It seems so logical and sensible for people to donate or offer their old or unused furniture.
    It is as easy as either putting it out for other neighbors to claim. Or put a local thrift store or charity phone number on your refrigerator, and call them to pick up your cast offs.
    There are many of us who also go one step further…I am an unofficially registered, and very committed Dumpster Diver.
    If I see something that is useful for me or for a charity, I pull it out, take it home, clean it up and decide what to do with it.
    It’s ridiculous what people “throw away”. Others can use these perfectly fine pieces of cast-offs.
    I have a gorgeous dressing mirror, all kinds of art/office supplies, and quilts that I thoroughly washed and used for my big dog as bedding.
    When my sweet dog died, I washed it all again and donated it to the Humane Society.
    What are people thinking??
    Just frustrates me when I have to climb into the dumpster for useful items that have been thrown away.
    Fortunately for me, I’ve only gotten stuck once. My daughter noticed that I was taking a long time, so she came looking for me and helped me get out.

    • Reply

      Green Mom

      November 18, 2016

      Hi Nancee,
      Yes dumpster diving has become a very lucrative business and a movement because we live in such throw away society. Good job Nancee, not forgetting stuck but for taking advantage of all these treasures people discard!

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Posts

Press Kit
Book - Zero Waste for Families
Watch for Free in Oct
Zero Time To Waste Film Poster

Get weekly UPdateS

Let’s stay in touch so we can take this journey together!