How to Recycle Your Couch
Whether you’re moving or doing a bit of spring cleaning, you might come across an old couch you want to remove. Maybe the style of the couch doesn’t work with your new decor – or maybe it’s wearing down after years of use. Whatever the reason, you might find yourself asking: how do I dispose of the couch?
We want to phrase a better question for you: we think everyone should be asking, ‘how do I recycle my couch?’!
Surprisingly, recycling your couch can be as simple as contacting a recycling facility that specializes in deconstructing large furniture. In other cases, you might have to dig a little deeper, and find out what your couch is made of – before you find a recycler.
Before we get into the details, let’s start with:
Say No To Illegal Dumping
Don’t you always hate it when people dump their trash on your lawn, or on the side of a busy road?
Not only is illegal dumping well, illegal, it also costs municipalities hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up. People illegally dump their furniture for a variety of reasons: maybe they don’t have a truck to transport their items to the landfill or recycling facility. Maybe they saw that someone else had left something on the side of the road, so they think it’s okay.
Regardless of their reason, it’s not okay to dump your furniture illegally.
Illegal dumping can be an eyesore to neighbours who live in the area.
It can also attract unwanted pests and vermin that take shelter in the item.
Furniture that gets wet after rain showers also grow mouldy, making it impossible to recycle them.
Therefore, there are two ways to dispose of your couch responsibly:
1. Take your couch to the landfill
Although we don’t suggest landfilling your couch, it is there as an option. Couches, along with sectionals, and chairs, can be made up of valuable materials that should be recycled. However, if you find yourself out of options – perhaps there isn’t a recycler near you – landfilling your couch is far better than dumping it illegally on someone else’s lawn.
2. Recycle your couches
Couch recycling is becoming easier to do these days. With recycling facilities offering services to dismantle your old couch or sofa, it is a greener alternative than dumping your couch in a landfill. Furniture can be picked up from the comfort of your home, for example. Some companies arrange pickups to take all sorts of furniture off your hands: including office chairs, sectionals, and couches.
Why you may ask, are companies interested in recycling bulky items like couches?
Middle to high-end couches is made out of valuable materials, like leather and faux leather. Some couches are also custom designed, using materials sourced overseas. After your couch has gone through wear and tear, it is a shame to throw these materials out, right?
We think so, at least. Over the years, we’ve seen what people can make with these recycled materials. New furnishings, decor, artistic interpretations, and clothes are just some of the ideas people have for these materials. Recycling your couch also salvages the wood and metal used to construct them.
How Couches are Recycled
When your couch enters a recycling facility, it is stripped apart and its pieces are sorted for recycling.
For example, in our facility, we take apart the upholstery first, then dismantle the wood frame and the metal supports. Cushions are kept in tact since they often are cleaned and donated to charities. Everything from faux leather to polyester, we keep aside in our facility for people to take. Certain fabrics and items are available by donation only, with proceeds supporting environmental conservation organizations around the world.
In most cases, recycling facilities have a difficult time recycling wet couches and other furniture.
Not only does it weigh down the assembly line, but it also makes heavy-lifting by crews difficult.
Also, damaged fabrics may be unsalvagable, since they cannot be recycled.
Reducing Textiles Waste
A big component of couch recycling is reducing textiles waste. The global textiles industry is one of the biggest polluters on the planet. Not only are fabrics thrown out at the end of their use in the fast-fashion industry, upholstery and furniture makers often leave a large carbon footprint. Materials used to make couches and sofas can be sourced from thousands of miles away, only to end up in the landfill once the couch has served its purpose.
When most sofas are made out of synthetic fabric, it may take a long time for them to decompose in the landfill.
By recycling your couches, you’re helping us keep our city streets cleaner, and our environment greener.
Canadian Mattress Recycling is a 100% locally-owned BC company with a team of employees dedicated to customer service and environmental preservation through recycling. We are located in the middle of Metro Vancouver on Annacis Island in Delta, BC and serve the entire Lower Mainland region and beyond. We are winners of the Green Business of the Year in 2016 by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.
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