Not to be Debbie Downer, but I did a little research and according to the EPA graphic, (most recent statistics from 2015) the United States generated 262.4 MILLION TONS OF TRASH. IN ONE YEAR!!! Of that, 137.7 million tons ended up in landfills. The days of thinking that the garbage truck just takes what we discard “away” are over my friends. There is no AWAY. Our planet, animals and sea life are paying the price.
And stepping off of my soapbox now, I will deliver the good news. There are tons of resources available to all of us to limit our contribution to these horrifying statistics. Now that spring cleaning season is here, take a look at this article from Houzz offering many options for discarding things you no longer want. A little time and effort can literally change the world.
Where to Donate, Sell or Recycle Furniture and Electronics
Before you think landfill, consider one of these ecological ways to repurpose your furniture and electronics
Where to Donate Old Furniture and Electronics
If your furniture is in decent condition, chances are good that you can donate or sell it. There are even plenty of charitable organizations willing to pick up items directly from your home.
- The Salvation Army accepts clothing, furniture, household goods and appliances, and you can use the nonprofit’s website to schedule a pickup of your items. The Salvation Army also has a wide network of locations that accept mattresses.
- Nonprofit Goodwill Industries International accepts furniture, clothing, electronics and a variety of household goods. Some locations accept mattresses in good condition, but this depends on local regulations, so call your local Goodwill ahead to find out.
- Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore resale chain accepts furniture, building materials and household goods. Some ReStore locations accept mattresses, but again, call your local store to verify.
- The Society of St. Vincent de Paul accepts furniture; call ahead to find out what your local organization will take.
- The Military Order of the Purple Heart’s pickup service accepts small furniture that weighs less than 50 pounds, as well as some electronics, and you can drop off your donations at a location near you or schedule a pickup.
- The website Donation Towncan connect you with even more local charities in your area that have pickup trucks and accept furniture and more.
- Alternatively, you could check with your local church, community center or school for an upcoming rummage sale, and donate your old items to the community group to sell.
Where to Sell Your Old Furniture and Electronics
There are plenty of online options to help you get rid of your old stuff these days, and these can work well as long as you don’t mind dealing with potential buyers and having a sale possibly take some time. You can list items for sale on Craigslist, Nextdoor, Facebook Marketplace or eBay, or you can give items away by placing an ad in the “free” section of Craigslist (under the “for sale” category) or on The Freecycle Network.
Another option that could be especially good if you’re getting rid of a lot of items is hiring an estate sale company to sell your things. The company will do the work of putting together the sale; you pay them for taking on the headache of selling. It’s smart to interview a few local companies before you choose one. You’ll want to compare not only fees, but also what’s included for the price.
Where to Recycle Furniture and Electronics
Furniture. You can look on the website Earth911 to find a location near you that can recycle sofas, mattresses and other piece of furniture. However, for mattresses and sofas, you may not find one central location that will accept all the respective parts. If that’s the case in your area, you could always take apart your sofa yourself and recycle the wood, upholstery, foam core and springs at various recycling facilities. Or you could dismantle your mattress and repurpose the buttons, braiding, padding and springs — this story has lots of ideas for repurposing mattress parts. If you purchase a new mattress, sometimes the store will take the old one off your hands. The Mattress Recycling Council’s Bye Bye Mattress program can help you find a recycling location near you, and latex mattress retailer Sleep On Mattress provides a list of 100 mattress recycling centersin the U.S.
If these resources don’t work for you, another option is to call EcoHaul, a junk hauler that promises to divert some of your discarded items from the landfill.
Electronics. Best Buy accepts computers, TVs and other home electronics, and will remove your hard drive for a fee; the retailer also has a trade-in program in which some turned-in products qualify for a gift card. Office Depot offers trade-in and free recycling of old electronics; Staples also offers free electronics recycling.